Monday, December 21, 2009

Madly Off Decorating

We've been madly decorating in all directions these last few days...

having survived the first nasty cold spell of the season...

and we're preparing for all the festivities of the week...

hoping the next year is sweet...

and we're all a little wiser.

My Mum made Elly part of the Dickensian Mice set by Alan Dart in honour of her first Christmas in her new place. She made six of the ten pieces (heck of a lot of work), and they turned out perfect.

Aren't they gorgeous?

On my needles, at the moment, is a quick knit for Ian's Christmas. Since I doubt he's reading my blog, I'll tell you it's this pattern from the new issue of Knitty.

I'm also partial to this and this from the same issue (but for me, not Ian), perhaps in the new year...

though I DO have an awful lot of half finished projects which I want to finish first.

I think I may have to plot a course for my knitting this year.

Also, the back splash was installed a couple of weeks ago. Our contractor put up a terrible struggle with me over my choice of tile. I believe he said at one point, "you don't want to ruin the kitchen now, when it looks so good." Can you imagine! It's a good thing I like him and have known him a very long time, otherwise I might have been insulted.

In the end, I got my way.

One by two inch pale green glass tiles installed in a brick-lay pattern.

He admits now it looks fantastic. Hoorah!

In a nod to the Christmas Ghost Story tradition, here's a walking ghoul singing a Christmas song...Enjoy!

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

I Can't Believe It

It's happened.

The last of the tradesmen has just left.

The reno is over (at least as far as professionals are concerned).

There's still a bit of painting left for me to do, but well...

Wow! That was really something.

I'm currently treating myself to two things that have been missing all this time - silence and locked doors.

Amazing...will post some photos soon.

Thursday, December 3, 2009

Almost Bloomin' Perfect

Lots of things around here are looking pretty good now...

though some things still aren't quite ready.

Small sections of the house are starting to look like their regular, tidy selves...

(note the bottle of Advil)...

and Christmas is just around the corner...

but don't be thinking I'm totally ready for the holidays. There are lots of decorations still packed up in their boxes.

Some rooms are very close to being finished, and just need a coat of paint to be ready to move into to,

while other rooms are up and running, though you'll note that everywhere you turn there's evidence of the "tradesman's touch"...

We DID get our stove delivered, sadly we have yet to get the gas line run...

maybe today, I don't know....

though, there are tiny sections of the house, that look honest-to-god finished...

and while the last touches are being but on the rooms, I've been getting everything as perfect as I can...

as for the sweater I was going to start and finish in the month of November, well, the front and back are done, I just need to make sleeves and a collar and sew the whole thing together.

I've been a tad distracted.

Please be patient while I chase perfection...

Friday, November 13, 2009

Six Months in an Unfinished House

I've been working away on the Kauni cardigan. I finished the main section of the body, and am ready to start the sleeves. The pattern looks to me like it would be easier to work the sleeves with the steeking sewn and cut, but since I don't have my sewing machine up and running at the moment (it's under a whole lot of boxes at the back of the craft room) its going to have to wait.

In the meantime I'm doing the NaKniSweMoNo09 - that's the National Knit a Sweater in the Month of November 2009. I've chosen Anhinga by Norah Gaughan, knitted in Adagio by Skacel in the Mulberry shade. This yarn has a beautiful drape, perfect for the pattern. I've finished the back and most of the first of the three front sections, so I'm feeling fairly confident I'll finish all of it by the end of the month.

I've been so negligent in keeping up with the postings during this reno, I've got lots to show you:

the cabinets during installation...

with handles installed...

after the electricians came to visit...

the bathroom, unfinished...

a laundry-to-be...

Ooooooo!!!!!! Washing machine!


and some very lovely lamps...

sadly, still no stove...

Even without the stove, the kitchen space is functional and I'm happily settling in and unpacking. Next up is the re-finishing of the floors on the second level and an awful lot of painting.

It's staggering to think we started this back in June - six months ago!

Here's a very, very old music video...

Saturday, October 24, 2009

A Few Finds

Completed slippers. Hurrah!

Before anyone lies and says, "beautiful...", we need to concede that they are, of course, hideous. However, they're felted slippers and aren't suppose to be good looking, merely practical, which they are. Super-cosy in fact.

Also in the "hurrah" department - the computer seems to be working fine at the moment - hence, the snapshots. I'm going to take advantage of this and share all the little happenings around here.

Last Sunday (the 18th) was the annual Doll Show and Sale here in Winnipeg. I'm not a true collector, but I've always had a few dolls in my possession; some I've had since childhood, some I've sewn through the years and some, on occasion, I've purchased. I'd never been to the doll show before, but was curious what others were collecting and selling.

I was tempted by a 1959 Lloyd's doll carriage (cream coloured metal, spring suspension), and though I thought to myself how fantastic it would be for displaying dolls, I just couldn't quite decide if it was "the one" (does anyone else understand?) and so walked away from it, all the while wondering if I was going to have regrets. I was also very tempted by one little bisque head baby doll from pre-1930's Germany, but wasn't quite sure if I was REALLY, REALLY willing to part with ALL that money for THAT particular doll. It was ALMOST exactly the sort of doll I'd like to own, but sadly, I'm just not that good at large-ticket impulse buys. I'm so, so much better at small-ticket impulse buys.

I found a vendor with buttons,

lovely, shiny buttons.

And another vendor with patterns,

I bought one reproduction pattern (uncut) and one original (cut). Well though, to be honest, I didn't buy that Winnie-the-Pooh pattern. I got to talking to the vendor and told her that my Mum had made Eeyore for my brother back in the sixties from that same pattern and it had been his favourite toy from childhood. She was so touched she gave me the pattern for free and told me to think of her when I sewed an Eeyore for my brother. Wasn't that sweet?

It was while I was driving home that I realised Eeyore was so very, very important to Ian that he'd kept it all these years (probably not requiring another one).

However, if I ever need to make an Eeyore, I'm ready.

A couple of days after the doll show I found this at a local shop,

I can't even speak.

I'm so glad I didn't buy the metal one from the fifties. This one was the same price.

There are no regrets, not one.

And the very same day, while trolling the local thrift stores, I made one of those rare "Finds of a Lifetime" - a stunning crocheted afghan.

The significance of something like this will be lost on some people (Nigel, I'm looking at you), but it is, I assure you, truly magnificent. It's made from scraps of fine sock-weight yarn in an enormous palette of colours. The time that would have gone into making this isn't lost on me and I feel fortunate to be the current "keeper" of this piece of 20th century folk art. Does anyone else see the colours of the Book of Kells?


Now, off to reno-land,

I did not order an orange floor, this is just the layer beneath the tile.


tiles with grout (that means this section of the floor is done).

And just in time for the cabinet delivery.

And this is what the cabinets will look like. Kind of, sort of antique white.

Cabinet installation is set for Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday of this week. Soon it will look like a real kitchen - it just won't have running water, appliances or lights.


Friday, October 23, 2009

Lettin' Ya Know

Hello to all!

Wanted to quickly let all know that we are all still here - coping - you know - with the reno.

We're nearing the end of phase one, unfortunately the computer is acting up and I can't load any photos at the moment.

So, don't think I'm holidaying anywhere swish.

I'm also knitting, but alas, no snaps yet.

Patience, I say to myself.


Sunday, October 11, 2009


It started to fall Saturday afternoon...

and things soon looked like this:

The snow isn't the only thing that's been piling up, I've finished lots of knitting projects too.

The second Noro Striped Scarf is all finished. The colours remind me quite a lot of my brother Ian, so it shall be winging it's way out to the west coast very shortly.

It's knit from one colourway of Noro Kureyon Sock and one colourway of Noro Silk Garden Sock, being sock yarn it's no problem to throw it in the washer and dryer, and in fact, gets softer and softer with washing and wearing.

Hope you like it Ian.******have I ever knit you anything before??? I'm not sure.******

Also finished is Gretel a lovely cabled tam designed by Ysolda Teague. She's very quickly becoming one of my favourite designers. I've tried a few of her patterns now and they are well written with no surprises.

Knit up in Mirasol Miski, this yarn is a beautifully soft worsted weight which knits up incredibly fast (being worsted weight).

And to match, in the same yarn is Celtic Cabled Neckwarmer. If you have a very good memory you'll recall I made one just like it for Elly last Christmas. It was so lovely I decided to make one for myself.

Don't let the photo fool you, it's all finished, though I'm not happy with the buttons I chose, so I need to rummage through my collection and see if I can find something better. I suppose that doesn't truly count as a finished project then, does it?

Also (almost) finished are a pair of Fuzzy Feet made using the yarn I won at the Knit Out in August.

Again, don't be fooled by the photo, I've finished the knitting part of this project...just have to run them through the washing machine to felt them. I'll take some before and after snaps, that's always amusing.

The reno, the reno...

There has been much painting going on this week.

I chose a beautiful shade called Calming Cream for the kitchen and craft room.

And for the bath, the palest of pale blues called Ocean Mist (both paints by Benjamin Moore).

***Update! Update! It's called Ocean Air, not Ocean Mist!***

Both colours are difficult to fully appreciate in snapshot form, you'll all have to just come on over and stare at it with me.

I chose well. Very well.

This week, the tile for the main floor will be installed and possibly the oak flooring on the second floor.

Soon, cabinets.