Sunday, February 18, 2007

WHEW frickin' HEW!

Just got back from two days of glorious skiing in Maine in 30+ inches of fresh powder in the "Valentine's Day Blizzard of '07"... B and I had a fantastic time on Saturday in the fresh snow - there was a blue, blue sky and white, white sweet powdery snow and almost no wind. Perfect! Oh, and *no* crowds. The only thing that could have been better is my level of training prior to skiing - let's just say that I felt the burn. Yikes, surely after two days of burning thighs, they're hard as rocks?! Ho ho ho... I'll have my work cut out for me, getting ready for the next athletic venture.

In any case, I can't say enough about the happiness that comes along with an invitation to a friend's house on a ski hill that is equipped with a) a king size bed, huge duvet, and electric blanket in "our" room with a wall of windows facing the mountain, b) a toasty wood stove, c) a TV, DVD player and Season 3 of Alias, d) copious amounts of wine and decent amount of beer, e) lots of mushroom lasagna, f) wasabi almonds (have you tried these from TJ's?), and f) great company. All in all, a fantastic Valentine's slash Birthday weekend. :-)) Hope y'all in blogland had a great weekend too. Isn't winter fabulous?

Wednesday, February 14, 2007

Happy Valentine's Day!

I hope everyone is having a slightly happier-than-average day, today. It might be a manufactured holiday of sorts, but I was due to be born on Valentine's Day and ended up with a birthday the day after V-day, so this occasion is a favourite of mine.

Boston got the non-blizzard today - a couple of inches of snow followed by sleet for the last few hours. I'm working from home and contemplating some more snow clearing soon. Granted, I already have had a few distractions from work today (clearly, I'm currently blogging). B is headed home sick from work this afternoon (Boooo!) but my class tonight has been cancelled, so I'll be able to take care of him. Also takes the pressure off me not quite having finished my 200 pages of reading for the week.... and we can just hang out under a blankie on the couch - what is better than that?

Since the pictures I posted the other day were only *some* of the recent FFOs (felted finished objects) - here are some more FAFOs (felted almost finished objects).... yep, almost felted - where have I heard that expression before?

So, first we have Women's size 9 (unfelted) slippers in purple for Angela de Montreal and next we have Men's size 12 (unfelted and freaking huge family feet) slippers in blue for my B-I-L Paul in Toronto...

Lest you think I'm done with the felted slipper extravaganza, I have this:

Sorry for the blurriness - Patons Classic Wool Merino for my great Aunt "Jean". She taught me how to knit and crochet when I was about 5 or 6 and whenever she came over she actually brought craft projects for me to do. She has been having a crummy couple of years with breast cancer followed by a recurrence of cancer in her bladder. She lives far away, in London, Ontario and I definitely don't get to see her that often. Her condition has improved of late, and I thought I might send her some slippers.
Cascade 220 in black for my ahem, little 15 yo nephew (he's 6'2")... did I mention he wears a Men's 13? Yes, he's definitely related. *sigh*
More Cascade 220 - Heathers and Quattro (hopefully they'll felt evenly knit together) - for my llama-loving and llama-raising M-I-L.

Plus... some Crystal Palace Cotton Chenille for a couple of facecloth thank you gifts...

Saturday, February 10, 2007

Catch up and some pictures posted...

Okay, high pressure knitting projects have mostly ceased - for now. Just to catch you up - made an insane number of Fiber Trends felted clogs as Christmas gifts this year. Here is a sample:

I call these: "The Jaime"

My sister-in-law is artsy and wears clothes in chartreuse, orange, brown, lemon yellow, well, you get the idea. Used Cascade 220, no mods to the Fiber Trend Felted Clog pattern. Women's size 7.5.

"The Cathy" - These were for my sister in Toronto and made in a colour to match her eyes... okay, not sure why I'd choose making slippers that matched someone's eyes - I guess I just decided that she liked the colour. These were made in Lite Lopi that I picked up on sale at Fabric Place. The saleslady assured me that these would felt well - indeed they felted - it's just... well, they're rather *furry*... Women's size 10, no mods to the pattern.

"The Valerie" - These clogs in light pink and dark purple are for my 13 year old niece, Valerie. She seems to be outgrowing them right away... yikes. Anyway, used Cascade 220, no mods to the pattern, women's size 7.

"The Stripo" - For my dad (nickname - Stripo - origin was in the early 80s and it stuck), these are also in Lite Lopi (bought on sale with the green single ply yarn above) and are quite fuzzy. Men's size 12. (Have you noticed - my family - those related, have HUGE feet?)

Over New Year's, we visited my family in Toronto and had quite a delightful New Year's eve. We played games, ate two-year cake,

(the top tier of our wedding cake from July 2004... it had been stored in my sister's freezer since then and we missed eating it on our 1st wedding anniversary - we were in Tulsa - amazingly, the marzapan exterior nicely protected the chocolate cake interior from tasting 2.5 yrs old. :-))

....and some fresh cake as well

(This was a surprise - my sister ordered a cake to celebrate Brendan's graduation on New Year's Eve... we toasted with - get this - Carl Jung (Non-alcoholic) Sparkling "Wine"... not sure how my sister found that one, but we all got a good chuckle out of it.)

Other than that... had a great day - starting out with my first yoga class in a downward dog's age, then breakfast with friends, discovery of a new place to do grocery shopping that was phenomenal, some laundry and some homework.... and B gets home late tonight from Portland - the left coast one.


Tuesday, February 06, 2007

What's up with the Nomad?

Dear Almost Felted,

Hey hey hey,

Thanks again for the recommendations… I found Sugar & Cream at a store in our local “Square” in our Belmont neighbourhood – it is called “Ben Franklin” and is like a cross between a Five and Dime, a (tiny) Joann’s and a tiny Kmart. They sell Lion Brand yarns, Bernat, some Patons, and Sugar n' Cream but also have needles, stitch holders, thread, quilting supplies, etc. (Not to mention, ugly crafty stuff, baking dishes, greeting cards, snow shovels, wrapping paper, and candy too!) Much better than driving an hour to get to a Walmart (one of the best things about Boston – it’s hard to find a Walmart!). I googled around and found some seed stitch patterns that I thought were possibly cute (for a second house)… I settled on patterns for the state of Maine, a moose head, and a star pattern. I’ll wrap those three up with some soap from Restoration Hardware and I’ll be set.

Turns out that I had some Cotton Chenille ( Crystal Palace ) knit up into these stuffed bears I was making while in Tulsa but stopped and got hung up on the embroidery skills required to stitch the face… Those were too far along (and partially sewn) to frog, so I tried Woolcott in Harvard sq – they had it in but had bizarre colours, then tried Wild & Woolly and found it there.. Still couldn’t find it in white but found a nice buttercup colour and a soft orange.

Oh, and almost done some felted slippers I started on Friday….



p.s. I have since learned from a coworker (I might note that various coworkers over the last 9 years have been responsible for most of my knowledge about the quirks of New England and the U.S. in general) that Ben Franklin is actually a chain...