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Archive for the ‘Comfort’ Category

Craft Hope for Haiti Shop Spreading seeds of hope one stitch at a timeThe internet is abuzz with news of Haiti and how we can each assist as we are able. Over at Ravelry there are patterns tagged for  Haiti Help  – parts of the proceeds will be given to Doctors Without Borders. So…if you were going to be buying a pattern soon, and you do it before Jan. 31st you’ll also be helping DwB/MSF

Yesterday the children at the Daycare asked to work on helping the ‘sad people’. They decided that they would make crafts and have a craft sale. Pretty sweet of them and whoever buys the wallpaper and construction paper hats, the faux fur cuffs, the pom-pom people they’ve made so far.

Two of the little girls have had everyone write their names on paper so that the ‘people in Haiti know who loves them’.

They are donating their empty juice boxes and bottles from home and offering to ‘just bring some money’. We’re sending the money they raise to MSF. They aren’t affiliated with any religions/churches and very little, if any, of the monies are used for administrative purposes.

Not all of their ideas were workable, they wanted to gather wood and bricks and send it on the boats from Canada, but they all came from the heart. Which is pretty amazing.

I thought it might be a good time to remind people of the government initiative that all of us be ready for a disaster – they reccommend being self sufficient for up to 72 hours. This is really important for us on the West Coast since we live directly on a major faultline — eek!

A daunting and potentially stressful task, contemplating the worst but it could make a real difference for you and your loved ones.

We are ready for the Flood

In November a friend who teaches Earthquake Preparedness for teens and families helped me complete my readiness kit.

Yes – that’s my Emergency Knitting kit – it’s clipped to my pack ($10 2nd hand, pretty awesome find). It holds 2 complete projects with instructions, needles, tape measure, beads, darning needle and scissors. I have one complicated project from the 7 Deadly Spins club and one plain vanilla sock project.

This pack, that I was relieved to learn I can put on and carry unassisted, has food, medicine and water for 1 week, plus the tools to build a temporary shelter.

My friend told me about an awesome cooker and I highly recommend it. It is lightweight — like a feather! — and lasts for hours.

Naturally I have a leash, food, treats and a sweater for Kira in my pack too. 😀 She’s my baby!

Altogether assembling my kit cost between $60-$80. If anyone wants I can send you a copy of the supply list I used.

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Whoa! Where does the time go??

I will finish reviewing Lost — this season was incredible? wasn’t it? The posts are in draft form, I’ve just been outrageously busy since like April!

Here is a glimpse of just some of the things occupying my time:

Been Awhile

Left to Right – Top to Bottom

1> I fostered 3 kittens for the local SPCA. Lots of fun, but a LOT of work. Naturally, I wound up keeping one – I’m pretty sure they know that will happen! I kept the fluffy black and white one on the end. Chaplin. One of my cousins adopted the black kitten, Poe (great name hey?). Right now I am kitten-sitting Poe while she is at ComiCon — the two boys are having a blast together.
The girl at the SPCA might need me to foster more kittens – they have 25 in the shelter! Madness!

2> I have 3 chickens! I’m hoping that at least 2 of them are hens — I would like eggs. They started out as the cutest little puffballs. This is Reepicheep in my arms.

3> Spending lots of times at the beach, the lakes, the river (freezing glacier run off!!) and the pool. This summer has been a scorcher so far.

4> I completed my RCM 1st year and received First Class Honours on my Exam! Such a relief — my 1st ever piano exam. I’m really looking forward to my 2nd year this Fall. I find it a great balance between calming and challenging myself. (if that makes any sense!)

5> Been on a few roadtrips – personally and work related. We have been going on near-daily field trips and this summer’s program is turning into a great success. 🙂

6> The chickens have grown! They are hardly recognizable as the little balls they arrived as. Last weekend I built them an enclosure. Myself! With a door that opens and closes — myself! I’m amazed. Their adorable coop was made my a family friend and they love it. Their enclosure is located outside my kitchen window — they seem to get a real kick out of peering in at me when I do the dishes/cook – which is what they are doing in this pic.

7> mmmm….Clafoutis! I adapted Alicia Paulson’s Blackberry version to use some of the abundant and delicious raspberries in my landlady’s garden. I had only made a WW’s version before and it was good. This however? This is heavenly. The tart of the raspberries contrasts nicely with the crystallized raw sugar the custard is poured over.

8> I started a small garden at my new place. This is it shortly after transplanting seedlings — it’s jungly these days. Even the green peppers are growing – due to the scorching summer weather I’ve mentioned earlier. The chickens love exploring the backyard and I’ve discovered that, likely because they arrived on the same day, the kittens watch but don’t interfere when the chickens are out and about (not that I leave them alone!) I hope they are helping to keep the garden tick free. Ugh. 
In addition to the clafoutis, I’ve also been experimenting with SouleMama’s Ruby June. I tried the rhubarb syrup but found it rather tasteless – so next I made a raspberry syrup. It made a divine drink! Very nice with sparkling soda and actually alright added to ice water.

9> Seen some great movies and some not so great movies. The latter was not-so-great because it was viewed with a very sensitive child whose first words to follow the intro: “I know one thing, I’m going to have nightmares tonight.” While sparing us from potetnially gory footage there were still a lot of ominously intoned “he won’t survive for long” & “if they don’t…they will surely die” . Sheesh.

10> Lots of BBQ’s already. This is a great year for it. Loving the quick and easy recipes that lend themselves to summer weather cooking. mmmmm…the company is the best ingredient though. ;-D

11> I finished the 365 Project…not that it’s up to date yet…but the photo’s have all been taken!

12> And what is summer without reading? Getting a surprising amount of reading done depsite all the other activities AND since I have started quilting! (pics coming soon)

What have you been up to?

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Dose of Fibre

I thought it might be time for a little of the fibre here, you know, since I call it a knitting blog.
Here are the latest squares to arrive for Brandon & Denver. You’ll also notice a little seen guest – the sun! (cue angelic chorus)

David & the Squares

Also appearing here today: Madame Defarge from Nefarious.

Ne-ne-Nefarious

I had never heard of her before this yarn — being the Dickens fan that I am. After reading about her, whenever I see the yarn this is what I hear:

Which I am so excited to say is returning to Vancouver next summer!

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Squares for Brandon & Denver’s blanket continue to arrive. Here are some of the latest to arrive:

Over the last 2 weeks I have had more people write to ask if they can contribute squares – the answer is YES! The blankets have worked out to be a little smaller than expected and so I calculated that we needed 44 more squares — 28 of which we now have.

Any squares that arrive after the completion of the 2 blankets will be used to make blankets to donate to BC Children’s Hospital. So there is no such think as being too late or having too many squares!

I just want to quickly thank everyone who has contributed to this project so far. Whether by sending a square, a hat 😉 , posting about this on your own blog or sharing your personal stories, each one of you has given of yourselves to help make this project successful and I truly appreciate it. The knitting community is a beautiful one.

Once I realized we needed some more squares I made a trip to our LYS and picked up these lovelies.

 

This yarn is incredible. 100% Alpaca. It is unbelievably soft and knits up into a dense fabric with excellent stitch definition that is somehow still lofty. I really wish I had oodles of money and a personal knitter, say Jared?, who could make me a Tomten with this in the green. And maybe one in the brown.

I’ve made a square from each colour – the last (read only!) projects completed during Earth. Where did 2 months go? Now we are in the Air element. Have I told you I’m afraid to knit with white? I am. I have white yarn. Some beautiful Debbie Bliss Cotton Angora – enough for Ophelia. But I’m scared I’ll wind up with grubby grayish spots (at best!) and that if I somehow make it through to an FO without catastrophe I’ll wear it once and disaster will ensue. Any words of advice?

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Blankets that is…

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This is Brandon’s blanket. There are still 3 row/strips to be sewn on and since we are still expecting a few shipments of squares I’m holding off finishing the blankie with what we have.

PICT2514

This is Denver’s blankie at the moment. There are still 5 strips to be added.

I am starting to think the blankies might be better size if they had 2-4 more rows. But I am not completely sure. I am going to take Brandon’s blanket with me to my Aunties tomorrow night to have my niece hold for size approximation — maybe I am just used to adult sized blankies, know what I mean?

Both blankies are going to have a crocheted border with the same yarn used to sew the squares together which will add incrementally to the size.

What do you all think?

In other fibrey news, I have been making the minutest of progress on my Arbor top (my Earth project for PS3){of course I forgot to take a picture of it—again}. The fun has temporarily gone out of that project so I figured I should try my hand at something quick and simple. Or quick and dirty as Wendy would say.

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I think this might be more headband than I need, since my hair is only shoulder length. If that’s the case I have a cousin with some pretty wild hair, she might like this. 😉

Note the Red Heart Super Saver – prepare yourselves for a shock….this is stash intended to be a baby’s Babette Blanket. (I know, I have read the Yarn Harlot and that acrylic melts/burns in fires — but really, what are the odds? how terrible is that to even ask??)

Yeah. Well after buying 12 balls/lumps of the stuff in the vibrant colour choices of said baby’s Mom’s preferences I rediscovered a little thing called gauge. And relearned the cardinal rule of pattern adaptations…go for the same yarn weight as the pattern calls for!! Babette is written for fingering weight yarn. Super Saver? Yeah. It’s worsted. Those were some honkin’ huge squares. No one, no one wants a Babette blanket of that magnitude – especially when it is meant to be for a newborn baby. So yeah – I have some acrylic to use up. For like the next 10-20 years of my knitting life. Actually, I think this Project Backfire may have resulted in my acrylic stash reaching SABLE proportions. 🙂

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This is from April 27th!! I swear there will be a new post – with up to the minute details this week!

I am finally getting around to posting about Brandon’s Comfort Blanket.
Squares have come pouring in over the last 2 weeks – thank you everyone!
We are 4 away from our goal number and preparing to assemble the blankets later this week — right before my brother’s wedding (Yay!)

    
Along with the squares came this cozy hat from Jessalu.

We have new pets – who have given birth 3x since we got them. Kira pays more attention to them than the cats do.

End of old post.

The blankets have begun to be sewn, my brother is married and I have way too many blog posts to read! I swear I have no clue where the time has gone. My sincerest apologies to all I have neglected but…since my bloglines is over 600 posts I am going to have to mark all as read and start over. Please forgive me!

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I’m back again – for good? Life has just been way too busy lately – I haven’t blogged, I haven’t read blogs…but I have been on Ravelry…and Facebook…and watching Lost and ‘Vivor.

It’s Spring Break – and while that means time off for most people, it means more work for us! But that’s alright, we have a lot of fun. In the last few days we’ve been on 3 field trips. Yesterday we had a blast at PlayDome – an indoor carnival at BC Place.

The day before we went to the Aquarium. We had a gorgeous day for it.

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For once our kids were actually into watching the fish/sea creatures – so we weren’t rushing from one exhibit to another. I have to tell you – in the Tropical section (which is really beautiful – ponds, flowers, butterflies, birds, a sloth) it’s an entire eco-system. Fabulous right? Except…that includes spiders. Spiders as big as an adult’s palm! Literally.

No pic – I was worried it was an escapee and actually spoke to an employee (I bet they get that a lot! spiders aren’t most people’s favourites) It was crawling up a wall just outside the tropical eco-system. Ughhhh….I quickly diverted our group to the pygmy monkeys because there was no way I could keep my cool while they examined that spider closely.

Aside from the belugas and dolphins (not together) – this was one of my favourite guys to watch.

Righteous!

They seem so calm. And wise.

I’ll share a few Overheard at Work with you from that day:

6 yr old boy: It’s getting complicated in here. he points to the singers performing They’re singing, that lady’s blowing bubbles and now this guy comes. he points at a person in a beluga costume It’s just getting complicated. he shakes his head sadly

7 yr old boy: Just to warn you – you’re ex boyfriend’s here.
9 year old girl: Who?
7 year old boy: looks around to be sure he isn’t overheard You know, The Slob.
9 year old girl: Ohh…. looks worried.
point of interest – 7 year old boy is wearing baggy pants, 3 mismatched shirts, his hair is uncombed and his shoes are untied. Don’t even get me started on the ex-boyfriend bit and the need to determine which ex-boyfriend.

On our way out we had to walk one foot on the sidewalk, one foot on the lawn (yeah – people are pushy) and it had been raining the past few days and was kinda muddy and sinky
6 year old boy: Michelle! Get out of there – it’s Sandquick! You’re gonna suck down in the Sandquick!

8 year old boy to teacher: My friend’s are always telling me to hug my girlfriend. And I say: Dude! That’s sick.
Teacher: Are they? Why is that sick.
8 year old boy: rolls eyes Ummmm…her B-words are like out to there!
Incidentally, this fictional girlfriend is…a teenager! At least I hope she’s fictional.

In the meanwhile there has been knitting — I really will post about it soon. And squares have been rolling in:

These soft, squishy yellow squares are from Pam in St. Paul Minnesota

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These lovely blue squares are from Charity in Northern BC.

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Thank you ladies! There are more I need to photograph and post. Thank you all so much – my Mom is on vacation right now and knitting squares like crazy. So…there should be at least one blanket in the next 2 weeks.

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