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Finding my groove

October 2nd, 2014

Maple Grove

As the mother of a (newly) six month old, I’ll be honest. As wonderful as it is, and as much fun as we have, I’m still struggling to find a groove in our days.

Awake time is filled with nursing, diaper changes, meals (we’re doing BLW), and play. And there are naps too. Carly is taking 3 solid naps a day now, and often goes 2 hours at a time – if you don’t count my one or two trips up to put that dang pacifier back in. I’ve worked it out so in the morning (like now), I shower and get ready for the day. I undo the dishwasher, shove a load of diapers in the wash. I play with Cooper and Jackson a bit. I catch up on email. And if it’s a particularly long nap, I do 10 minutes of Something Else.

During the other naps, I’ve been trying to spend time crafting. Sandra and I got into a Christmas Craft Sale at our church, so I’ve got a lot of sewing to do. And then there’s the knitting and pattern design. The list is pretty long right now.

But still, even though I should have about 2 or 3 hours of ‘me time’, the time goes by so quickly, and I feel like I can only get one thing done. Some days, that includes getting the camera out to take some pictures for a new pattern. Some days, that includes editing the photos.

Yesterday, that One Thing happened to be writing up and sizing the pattern shown on Carly. I’m calling it Maple Grove. It’s knit in one of my all-time favourites; Lorna’s Laces Lion & Lamb. Carly’s size – the 12 month – takes a skein and a half, leaving plenty for a matching hat.

I love this gauge for babies. Worsted knits up so quickly (it may still fit by the time you cast off!) and just looks a wee bit chunky when worn.

Maybe my thing for today will be finishing up the pattern layout and getting this pattern posted.

Or maybe I’ll just cast on for another one.

Found Objects

September 11th, 2014


We moved into this house in late June 2013, and had spent the previous 4 months prepping our old house for sale. As part of the staging process, we did a bunch of DIY; painting, rehabing the kitchen, and replacing light fixtures. But we also wanted to make the home feel spacious. That meant packing away most of the ‘stuff’ that we’re so fond of collecting; books, dog toys, and of course, yarn.

Luckily, our new house had a basement with an outside entrance, and the owners were happy to rent it to us for a few months for a reasonable price. I spent weeks and weeks moving over boxes and bags of the non-essentials. It was an ideal solution that let us get the best value out of our previous house without needing to move everything twice!

Of course, as usually goes with things out of sight, the boxes have sat there largely untouched. Until recently.

People. Do you know how fun it is to rediscover your yarn stash after over a year?

One very exciting discovery was this sweater I’d been designing back in 2012. When I pulled it out of the project bag, I wasn’t sure what to expect. It wasn’t seamed, and strands were dangling everywhere. Imagine my surprise when I discovered that the design was nearly done – only missing a collar! And even better, I still loved it.

The big question, of course, was whether I’d be able to find the pattern notes. After so many years, (and a pregnancy!) there’d be no way I could accurately recreate the rather unusual construction.

Two notebooks later, I’d decoded enough of my chicken scratches and found the pattern, split into three sections across a single notebook.


A few hours of knitting later, and I’ve got a freshly finished new cabled cardigan, perfect for fall.

So stay tuned. Two new designs coming soon.


September 8th, 2014

Carly at 22 weeks


Carly Catherine arrived at 11:25pm on March 29, and my world bloomed.

“Bloom” is the best word I can think of to describe it. It’s as if all the colours are brighter. All the moments are more precious. All the love is so much stronger. Carly arrived, and it was like Spring after a lifelong winter.

If you’ve been following my updates on Twitter and Instagram, you have a good idea how much in love I am with being a Mom. In Canada, most of us are lucky enough to have a full year off with a new baby. I can’t explain how grateful I feel to have this time with Carly, even though it’s flying by.

She’s already 5 months old, can sit up and roll over, and amazes us with something new every day.

When I was pregnant, I wasn’t sure how I’d manage to fill up all the time. What does one DO with a tiny baby? As it turns out, our days are full and go by so quickly. We’ve been taking long walks, doing mom and baby yoga, having lunch with friends, playing, doing housework, reading books, napping, and somehow, it’s 6pm and Sandra’s almost home, and it’s time for dinner, a bath, and bed.

Carly’s just started napping reasonably well. I take the first nap of the day with her, until 10:30 or 11, and the rest, she’s on her own. She typically gives me anywhere from an hour to 2.5 hours, so I’ve just regained some chunks of time for things like cooking and… gasp… knitting.

That’s right. I’m knitting.

I didn’t talk about it at the time, but a few years ago, my hands started cramping up every time I’d hold the needles. This was around when my mom was going through her stem cell transplant for lymphoma, and it felt like such a betrayal that I couldn’t find peace in stitches. Slowly, I stopped knitting. To the point that when we moved into this house last year, I didn’t even unpack my yarn, needles, or notions.

When I was pregnant, I tried to knit. I forced my way through a simple hat for Carly. (One she only wore a few times because of the time of year!) But it hurt, oh man, did it hurt.

But then, I felt guilty my daughter didn’t have any handknits. So I went deep into my basement, and deep into my stash, and found some sock yarn that I’d purchased a long time ago, thinking it’d be nice for a baby.

And I knit.

And it didn’t hurt.

Maybe it’s the hormones, or maybe it’s the weight loss (or both), but I can knit again. And I’m loving it again.


So here’s Glendale. It’s a quick-knit baby top with a fun construction. And you know you have sock yarn just waiting to turn into something beautiful.

Right now, I’m almost done with a grown-up size version, and am plotting my next designs.

It feels good to be back. I’ve missed you.

Long time gone

February 27th, 2014


Geez it’s been a long time since I wrote here.

So long, in fact, that I’m about 4 weeks away from giving birth to our first daughter.

But let me back up.

Since I last posted, I’ve:

  • Bought a new house
  • Renovated and sold our old house
  • Gone to Florida to meet my sister, brother and birthfather
  • That one bears repeating; I’ve MET my birthfamily!
  • Moved
  • Gone through IVF
  • Got pregnant!!
  • Renovated a kitchen and done so many other other home improvements
  • Dug really really deep into my work
  • Quilted a lot
  • Acquired Gestational Diabetes
  • Spent a lot of time chatting with my long-lost sister
  • Meant to blog just about every day

So it’s been kind of an amazing 11 months.

And I’m sorry I’ve been so quiet. I find that when I was blogging a lot, I was doing it in the morning before work. That all ended last year. I took on a permanent team lead role at work, and switched my schedule to work earlier hours. On top of getting up and getting the dogs settled in the morning, I was always running behind. And blogging over my lunch was no longer an option since I generally worked through lunch. And, and, and… well, it’s a lot of excuses. Life just got… full.

And full of stuff I couldn’t really talk about when I was going through it. Like IVF. And early pregnancy. And work challenges. And the pains of renovating. Heck, I still can’t talk about a lot of that.

But I can try.

I’ve been on medical leave for a few weeks now. Babygirl is doing great in there, but the gestational diabetes and my needing to control it through insulin means that I’ll be induced at no later than 39 weeks. I have weekly ultrasounds and non-stress tests, weekly appointments at the diabetes clinic, and weekly meetings with my OB to see how things are progressing. It’s a lot. And I’m supposed to rest as much as possible.

So with that time, I’ve been thinking about writing down what it was like to do IVF, what my pregnancy has been like. I have some notes in a dayplanner I bought last summer, but I haven’t taken any time to write down what I was thinking, feeling, craving (Oreos) and I think it’s something I’d like to have.

And I’m thinking about doing it here, now that it doesn’t feel like a jinx.

So that’s what’s been going on here, in just less than 500 words. I can’t promise I’ll write more, but maybe I will.

The great de-stash of2013 (part 1)

March 25th, 2013

Just in case these few weeks weren’t crazy enough, Sandra and I decided to buy a more family-friendly house with a bigger yard for the dogs and any future kidlets! Part of moving means de-stashing, so here we go!

Preference to local pickups but I’m happy to ship anywhere for actual postage cost. I’m sorry, but I won’t split up lots of stuff – we have to have our house on the market in a couple of weeks so everything that’s going has to go asap. 🙂

Lot of 8 Craft Books: – $20

Many of these are duplicates in our stash, all are in great to new condition: Knitting for Peace, Amazing Crochet Lace, Fitted Knits, Not Your Mama’s Knitting, Stitch ‘n Bitch Nation, The Yarn Lover’s Guide to Hand-dying, Not Your Mama’s Beading, Vogue Knitting Felting On the Go.

Lot of 13 Rowan Knitting Magazines – $150

Many (all?) of these are out of print. Gorgeous for ideas and eye candy!!

Lot of 8 Rowan knitting booklets – $60

Also largely out of print, includes Bigger Picture, the Calmer Collection, Plaid Collection, Classic Style, Classic Holiday, Classic Bambino, Arabesque and the Cocoon Collection.

Lot of 12 skeins of sock yarn – SOLD

Knit yourself 12 pairs of socks for less than $7 a pair! Includes Silk Garden Sock, Cherry Tree Hill, Dream in Color Everlasting, Chameleon Colorworks and more!

Lot of 4 skeins of hand-painted lace yarn – SOLD

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