Tuesday, June 28, 2011

End of an Era

My paternal grandmother passed away on Thursday and I'm in Ottawa with my family. My father is sitting shiva. He's an only child which, in this case, means he is the only official mourner (in terms of Jewish law/tradition). If ever there was an argument against only children, this is it. There is nothing more difficult than dealing with end of life arrangements alone. Of course, he is not alone. He has my mom, my sister and me, and all his friends, but when it's time to say Kaddish, he stands alone.

My grandmother's life story is quite a tale which I will share with you soon. But for now, rest in peace dear Rose.

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

WIP Wednesday

I bet you're wondering why I didn't do WIP Wednesday last week. Well, I did an entire post and then my iPad app, Blogsy, ate it.  I have a baby, yo! I don't have time to be rewriting blog posts. It was a major bummer, but life goes on.

Started AND finished: Patio chair
On the drive home from Ancastor last weekend, we realized we had an hour extra on our Zipcar reservation and were just about at the exit for Ikea. I've been talking about getting a patio chair for our balcony for a couple weeks now. Actually, I wanted two chairs and a table, but DH pointed out we  didn't have the budget for a patio set.

So a single chair would have to do. He put it together for me as soon as we got home and handed me the care instructions.  Normally, I would ignore these instructions, but I'm working on being an adult, and you know, taking care of my stuff.  So, off to the hardware store I went to get sandpaper and teak oil.

Voila!  A chair protected from the elements.  And just in time; it rained last night!

In Progress: Pin Tuck Tee
I have now started this project three times.  The first time, several stitches got dropped while jostling around in my project bag under the stroller and try as I might, I could not pick up the twisted knit stitches properly.  Since I'd only done about 8 rows, I was fine with ripping and starting again.  While ripping I realized that the large was going to be much too wide, so I cast on a size smaller.
Take two and guess what I found in the middle of my skein?Two of the six strands in my yarn were broken.  So annoying.  I cut out that piece and continued.  I did my wrap and turns for my short rows and everything looked great.  Then I started picking up the wraps and everything went to hell.  Not really, but I wasn't happy with how they looked.  I'm going to look up some youtube videos on picking up wrapped stitches so that this attempt is more successful.  I have done the first six rows for the third time and am about to start my short rows.  Wish me luck, third times a charm and all that.

Upcoming project

I have a lot of yarn, needles, notions, project bags, what-have-you.  With multiple projects on the go, it's hard to keep organized.  I have some great organizers, all from Namaste. But even so, things can get a little messy.  We do live in a small condo, after all.  This is what my stash currently looks like:
There is a second wicker basket of yarn up on a shelf and a needle case and scissors on the coffee

I bought these bins at Winners and they match the green in some of my wall art.  I plan to use them to declutter and pretty up my pile o'stash in the coming week.

So, what have you been up to this week?

Monday, June 20, 2011

The Little Things

Making me happy right now:

  • The cashier at Aroma greeting me by name
  • My new patio chair from Ikea that will allow me to sit on the balcony in comfort all summer long
  • Watching my beautiful son's hand coordination improve every day. He LOVES his Winkel so much. It is always it his hand (or mouth) so I've have it clipped to his onesie for easy access.
  • My full schedule. Who knew how easy it would be to fill my days while on maternity leave?! I can't believe I worried about being bored. This week alone I have a goodbye stitch and bitch for a friend who is moving to Montreal, a coffee/play date and family visiting for Shabbat. Plus, I want to sand and treat the wood for my new chair and I'm cooking a meal for a shul family with a new baby. Not to mention all the knitting and reading I'd like to get done.
  • Sunshine and the promise of an amazing summer.

Life. It is good.

Monday, June 13, 2011

The Weeklies #3 - Better Late than Never Edition

The Weekly Read: Mockingjay. DH and I finished Catching Fire and are on the third and final book of the Hunger Games trilogy. I've been surprised by a couple plot twists, which is always enjoyable. I'm interested to see how it ends!

I have a second book on the go: Kosher Nation, which is about the kosher food industry. I have some strong feelings about this topic, which I won't go into now.  I'd definitely need a dedicated blog post for this one.

The Weekly 'Za:  DH and I have two Sunday traditions.  He always makes pancakes for breakfast and together, we make pizza for dinner.  DH makes the crust (gluten-free because I'm celiac).  We tried several recipes until we found the one we liked best.  I actually don't know if my hubby makes the thick or thin crust, but the recipe is in Elizabeth Barbone's Easy Gluten-Free Baking.  As an aside, this is my go-to GF cookbook for all baked goods.  It has yet to let me down.

My job is making sauce (crushed tomatoes, sweet chili sauce, onions, garlic, cumin, pepper, lemon juice, honey and sometimes olive juice or red wine if I have either on hand), cutting up the veggies and assembly.

This week's pizza had zucchini, orange peppers, mushrooms, olives, cheddar and Parmesan and it was delicious, despite the fact that I should have left the crust in to bake for about three minutes longer.

The Weekly Milestone:  Pumpkin is full-on grabbing his Winkle toy and gumming it.  So cute!  We also bought a wide mirror for him and he LOVES looking at himself in it.  Major score, as it allows Mommy to get some blogging done!

The Weekly Adorable

This Could Be Dangerous

Remember how I recently shared with you that I'll be taking sewing lessons in July? I've been busy researching sewing machines and browsing fabrics online and reading craft and sewing blogs. I thought knitting was an expensive hobby, and It appears that sewing will be equally rough on the pocketbook. But oh! The gorgeous things people are making.

Here are a few of the handmade items and patterns that have caught my eye this week.

Pacifier clip from Sew, Mama, Sew! This looks like a perfect first project for me once I get a sewing machine. Pumpkin loves his soother and hallelujah for that! I know some parents worry about their babies becoming dependent on pacifiers, but not me. Why wouldn't I want my child to self-soothe?

The Purl Bee appears to be THE sewing and craft store/blog/hotspot and it is AWESOME. I could kill hours on this site.

Make and Takes is a parenting slash craft slash food slash home site. Browsing it gets me all excited for when Pumpkin gets old enough to craft with. I'd love to make these Twirling Paper Ladybugs together. Maybe I'll make them myself and hang them above his crib for him to look at.

Finally, How About Orange, is a site loaded with craft tutorials. How gratifying to see the one about making fabric paneled wall art because yeah, I've totally done that in our master bedroom and it looks awesome.

Sorry about the not-so-great photo. Pumpkin was napping on my bed so I needed to be quick when snapping it.

Friday, June 10, 2011

WIP Wednesday...on Friday

I'm two days late for WIP Wednesday this week because of Shavuot (a Jewish festival which ended late last night). DH was home from work for two days and it was wonderful to have family time smack in the middle of the week. I like Shavuot because it falls just when the nice weather is starting, it's traditional to eat dairy (yum!) and you can cook during festivals (as opposed to on Shabbat when cooking is verboten).

The big WIP Wednesday news for me is that I finished Raffiand dress! Her mom loved it, she cried which made me very happy! It fits her very well with room to grow. They sent me a photo of her in it. Try to pretend that she isn't wearing a tee shirt underneath the dress.

I love the ruffled hem. It's knit in a rib. Then on the purl stitches you purl in front and back to increase, so that you have a knit 1, purl 2 rib. After a few more rows you increase again (k1, p1, p in front and back, p1, repeat). The yarn I used doesn't show the rib very well, because it's somewhat textured but I still loved the end result.

My new project is a tee and it's for me! I never knit garments for myself so this is truly a first. Okay, full disclosure. I have started sweaters for myself in the past, but I've never finished one. This time, however, will be different.

The Yarn

Sirdar Snuggly Baby Bamboo. I bought it at Romni Wool. I rarely shop here, since my darling friend Haley owns a yarn store, but I was looking for a bargain and my memory was telling me that she didn't carry many bamboo yarns (I was right, she carries one line and only in pastels, though she would of course special order for me if I asked). Romni didn't have any bamboo on sale that appealed to me, but the Sirdar was only $5.95 a skein at 100 yards which is a good price. I had to settle on the colour. I wanted a lettuce green but there were only 3 skeins. I ended up choosing Denim and I'm very happy with it.

The Pattern

Pintuck tee from Platinum Knits. It's going to be a challenge for me. There are short rows, a bib to puck up and knit, waist shaping and all on 4 mm needles. My goal for the next 5 days is to cast on and knit the 6 round hem of twisted rib stitch. I know it isn't a huge goal, but I've got a baby who suddenly wants LOTS of attention so I'm aiming low.

Check out what Sara's working on over at Sweet & Crunchy. I like the place mats; They are the exact type of thing I want to make once I take my intro sewing course. And let me know what you're up to!

Saturday, June 4, 2011

The Weeklies #2

The weekly read::  DH and I are reading Catching Fire together. It's the second book in the Hunger Games trilogy, which he and I read separately. This is the second novel we've read together. DH likes reading aloud and whereas I prefer to listen, so it works well.   We read a chapter each night before bed and on Shabbat we're able to get quite a lot read. We're about a third of the way in and the story is finally getting moving.  So far, so good.

The weekly film: On Monday, Pumpkin and I went to Baby and You at the Revue. It was our second time going and I have to say, it's pretty awesome.  The theatre is kept lighter than it normally would be, and the film is played at a slightly lower volume to protect babies' ears.  Two diaper changing stations are set up in the lobby, complete with wipes, antibacterial lotions and diapers in multiple sizes (I cloth diaper so don't use them, but it's a nice touch).  Both times we've been, there have been about 10 moms and babes.  It's a very relaxed vibe.  If your baby cries, no big deal!  Breastfeed, bounce, walk the aisles...anything goes!  This week's movie was The Adjustment Bureau. It was alright, nothing special, could have been better. There were loose ends, like what was Henry's motivation and wasn't the ending rather convenient?  Still, a nice way to spend the afternoon.

I also rented The Trotsky. I have a soft spot for Canadian cinema and this has been on my "to rent" list for months.  I was disappointed.  It was not good.  I enjoyed seeing Colm Fiore in the role of high school principal.  I liked seeing McGill on screen.  But overall, the film was just silly, and not in a cute, fun, quirky way (although I think this is what the filmmakers were going for). One of the main plot lines is the romance between Leon, a teen, and Alexandra, a lawyer in her mid-20's.  In the beginning it was believable because she wouldn't give him the time of day (d'uh!).  But all of a sudden she falls in love with him?  Yeah, right.  Again, what was her motivation?  Ridiculous.  Even more ridiculous were the scenes of them kissing with Leon's family looking on.  What parent is okay with their kid having an affair with someone a decade older?!

The weekly super awesome sweet find:  I received a lovely tea set (Crazy Daisy by Portmeirion, isn't it cute?) as an engagement gift and like everything I own, I quickly broke a piece. I'm nothing if not clumsy!  I broke the top of the teapot, but hooray! The sugar bowl top fit perfectly. Except, yesterday, I broke that too. Sadly, the creamer does no have a top, so I went out this afternoon to buy a new 6 cup tea pot.  I found the exact same set at William Ashley.  And, it turns out you can purchase the top only!  I bought a replacement top for the sugar bowl and the tea pot.  It could be months until I receive it because they have to wait for a larger order (the company is based in the UK) but regardless, my set will once again be complete!  Until I break another piece.  But never mind that.

The weekly political: I took Pumpkin to his very first rally this week.  W00t!  On Wednesday we went to Queen's Park for the Midwives are Worth It! Rally for Pay Equity.  Check out the Star's article on the event here.  There were reportedly 600 people in attendance.  I'm a HUGE midwifery supporter.  Maybe one day I'll tell you about my home birth experience (awesome!).  My favorite thing about the rally were the slogans. There were kids wearing t-shirts that read "Made at home, born at home" and banners that said "Because storks don't deliver babies."  We met up with a friend and her babe which leads me to...

The weekly adorable: Pumpkin at the rally.

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

WIP Wednesday: Rafi's Dress, Week 2

I  was going to start this post by saying that I wasn't able to get very much done this week on Rafi's dress.  But, looking at last week's WIP Wednesday post, I actually did the majority of the body of the dress.  All that's left is about 5 rows of the body and then the ruffled hem and binding off of the arms. With her birthday less than a week away, I need to get a move on!  Next week I hope to be posting the finished product.