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I Want to Knit
Wednesday, April 30, 2008
what i did monday and yesterday
I unpacked the nuts and fruit and chocolates.

Oy. Let's ignore the fact that my cuboards are full and I have no where to store the nuts and fruit and chocolates, ok?
I seamed the Marble cardi. I also ignored the pattern, which wanted me to knit the hood, then pick up and knit the button bands on the two fronts, THEN seam the cardi and sew on the hood. I did a few more mods as well, which I'll detail when the project is finished.
I also managed to knit the two front bands. By the time I went to bed last night I'd picked up and started working the collar (I'm ignoring the hood).

I would have gotten more done, but Jakob has been sick and I only knit when he's sleeping, if I'm not already eating, cleaning, doing laundry or staring at the TV in a dazed stupor. The poor kid started a fever on Friday night, and has been going back and forth from 99.5 to 103.3 ever since. Yesterday's high was 102, today he went from 99.5 when he woke up from his nap to 101.5 2 hours later. I know it's not as high, but his fevers have been higher at night, so we're going back to the doctor to make sure his cold didn't become an ear infection. He's also got a wicked cough and a runny nose, so when he is awake, he's kinda miserable. (His waking up around the clock has led to my dazed stupor). I'm sure the doctor will tell me it's just a cold and to keep him on the tempra, but I'd rather be safe than sorry...especially with a fever that has lasted almost 6 days.

Hopefully by the time I post next I'll have a completed Marble Cabled Cardigan.

You know what I didn't do yesterday or Monday? Photograph my booty. (Uh- yarn or otherwise). I know you wanna see the new stash...but I can't show it to you before I show it to Yannick, and he had bowling last night. Don't'll get photos soon. I still have to finish the rest of the WEBS trip. I haven't even told you about the diner of freaky thoughts yet!

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posted by Jennifer Lori @ 1:36 p.m.   4 comments
Monday, April 28, 2008
Oh my. I I don't know where to begin. This weekend

Maaike and I left Saturday afternoon. I normally work until 5pm but my dad said I could leave at 4pm, so Maaike got dropped off at the store so we could leave right away, and we were off. We stopped in Burlington for supper, finding the route a nice, easy drive thanks to our maps and Artie (the affectionate name we gave to the GPS unit Maaike had borrowed from a co-worker). Everything was going fine, we passed the US border within 5 minutes of arriving, and kept driving. We didn't think anything was wrong although we both kinda thought it was strange that we were taking the 7, a more residential-type road with a max speed of about 50 miles/hour, instead of a highway. Turns out that Artie thought the 7 was a better route because it was the straightest route to Northampton- as the crow flies. He didn't understand that we wanted to take the highway so we could go faster. So we ignored Artie and Maaike directed me on a route to get back to the 89. It took an extra hour and a very scenic route over and down what I think was called Green Mountain, but eventually we got onto the 89. Artie kept sulking at us. The GPS unit beeps when it is time to get ready to turn or merge or whatever, and if you don't do what it wants then it makes a little "why aren't you listening to me?" noise, and recalculates. Artie REALLY wanted us to take the 7, and we REALLY didn't want to, so Artie sulked and moped nearly the whole way there. From the 89 we took the 91, and by 11pm we had pulled into our hotel's parking lot.

It was great to be out of the car, and after we'd settled in, Maaike pulled out her spindle and got her spin on. I pulled out Jakob's sweater to do a little seaming, but we both quickly realized we were tired, and the adrenaline was wearing off, and we went to bed.

Breakfast was included at the hotel, and in addition to fruit, breads, coffee, etc, they had this wonderful little gadget. I've never seen this before- it's a waffle maker! You put a little cup under the spout of the machine on the right and it gives you a pre-measured (I think) amount of waffle batter. You then take the Waffle-Off spray (um...Pam??) and spray the griddle (left machine). Pour in your batter, flip it, wait 2 minutes, flip it back and you have a huge fluffy waffle freshly made. It was really good!
We went to Target but didn't find much (it looked remarkably like Zellers). Then we came back to the hotel and checked out, and went to WEBS.

WEBS! The rumors are true- it is huge and amazing and wonderful.

I have to preface the rest of this with a little backstory. See, there's this online shop, called Nuts Online. They have a really good selection of snacks, but they don't ship to Canada. Well. I got the bright idea to ask Kathy and Steve Elkins (the owners of WEBS) if I could have an order shipped to their store, and then I would pick it up when we drove down. Surprisingly, they agreed. (I wonder if it was the oddest request they've gotten?) We wanted to take advantage of this and get as many of the snacks we wanted to try, so in the future we could only order what we'd liked, and have it shipped to my grandmother's condo in Florida, so when my mom goes down she could drive it back. I just didn't want anyone else paying duty on a huge initial order. So Maaike, Yannick and I each went through the website and picked what we wanted. I think we ended up with a total of 35 individual 1 lb bags of dried fruit or nut snacks. Poor WEBS! I called them on Thursday to let them know the nuts were coming. (The food, not us). They never called back, so I assumed everything was fine.

Well, we get to WEBS around 11:00. We'd decided that we'd wait in line and have our books signed before the Yarn Harlot event at 2:00, so once the event was over we could come back to the store and shop at our leisure. We got into line for the signing.

This was the line ahead of us. We got in at a good spot.

This was the line behind us. It goes into the warehouse and all the way around.

While we were in line there was a woman going around with a post-it notepad, asking your name and writing it down, and putting it down on your book so it would be easier for Stephanie to sign your book. I over heard her talking to someone and immediately recognized her voice from the Ready-Set-Knit podcast- it was Kathy Elkins! When she came over I told her my name and said "You have nuts for me!" She started laughing. Apparently the nuts were causing some amusement at WEBS. She told me she'd show me where they were later, and said not to be surprised if the story about the nuts ended up in one of her blog posts. Maaike also introduced herself, and Kathy recognized Maaike's name from an email she'd sent saying how we were coming down from Canada.

This was Maaike and myself upon realizing that we were standing in WEBS, waiting to see the Yarn Harlot (again) and having just chatted with a voice we feel we know because we've been listening to her for over a year. It was surreal. (It was also a remarkably good photo for one that was taken by me holding the camera over our heads and saying "smile!").
We had brought offerings for Stephanie. We didn't know if she had received any Montreal dishcloths when she was here in 2006, so I designed a few and we knit them up for her. You've all seen the Habs one already, and the Fleur de Lys one is to represent Quebec. The actual Montreal flag is extremely uncommon and unrecognized as being of Montreal, so instead our Montreal dishcloth has a bagel on it. :) We also brought her a drawing from Maaike's daughter, and 2 Montreal food offerings- a package of squeaky cheese (cheese curds) and a bag of fresh Montreal bagels.
We were really glad we'd brought the food for her, because we really doubt she was able to take a lunch break, so at least she had something there to eat.

Stephanie was gracious and friendly, and shocked the &#$^@ out of me by not only remembering who I was, but by telling ME what my website was. She knew who both of us were, and we were stunned. While we were getting our books signed Kathy came up to the table and let Stephanie know that we were the crazy nut people. Apparently the nuts really were becoming an ongoing joke at WEBS! Stephanie took a photo of us with the dishcloths, and took a photo with us and her travelling sock, and then we let her get on to the next person in line.
To keep up with the surreal-ness of the day, Maaike had a question about a pattern, and who did Kathy direct us to? Pixie!
Those of you who listen to Ready-Set-Knit know who Pixie is, and listening to her talk to Maaike about a pattern was EXACTLY like listening to the second half of their podcast, and I found it hard to not imagine I was actually at home in bed listening to this on my iPod. It was a very strange feeling. It was also really cool that Kathy just breezed us past everyone in the store to the "employees only" area, and ushered us right in to talk to Pixie. Then she took me to another area so I could see where the nuts were.
I forgot to take a photo of the nut boxes, but I can see why they were becoming a punchline. Two boxes each the size of microwave ovens! And heavy! While Maaike and Pixie chatted, Kathy helped me carry the boxes to my car.
We really were there. WEBS!
This is the parking lot area. And what's that down at the end there?

Why it's WEBS- America's Bead Store! We didn't get a chance to go in and check out Kathy and Steve's latest project, but if it's anything like the yarn store, it will be amazing!

We left there and went to a local tavern for lunch. Everything was delicious, and we had a great view of the Calvin theater across the street.

Why look at that...what's going on at the Calvin? Why are there crowds of knitters showing up?
Ahh...THAT'S why. I can only wonder what people driving by thought was going on here! We'd already had people stop at our lunch table and ask us what was going on with the knitting.
We had some great seats in the very first (!) row, and the events began. First Kathy and Steve raffled off some prizes. (We didn't win).
I got my knitting out and settled in. This is a project I designed and work on from time to time. Don't bother trying to guess what it is- you'll never get it. :)
A portion of the proceeds from that day's sales at WEBS were going to be donated to a local midwifery clinic that had been closed and finally reopened, so a woman from there came by to talk to us and thank us.
Finally it was time to begin the real show.
Here we are being photographed for her blog with the travelling sock.
Here we are. You can't even grasp how many people were here. It goes all the way to the back. I think the balcony was full too. I'm horrible at guestimating numbers, but I'd say we were thousands of us. It was crazy. (And sorry to the woman in front whose face I managed to blind with the flash in every crowd photo I tried to take).
Stephanie was a wonderful speaker (again) and was everything you'd expect from reading her blog. We laughed, we felt like a community, and it was wonderful.
We were some of the last to leave the theater because we'd been all the way in the front row. As we made our way to the door we saw a small crowd off to the side. I couldn't see what was going on, but there was a woman giving stuff out. Maaike looks up and says "Hey- I think that's Jess!".
It was. Jess, of Jess and Casey- the owners of Ravelry. Giving out Bob stickers and Ravelry pins.
I can't type any more right now...I've been sitting here since 9:00am and I need breakfast.
And I haven't even gotten to the shopping yet!

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posted by Jennifer Lori @ 9:58 a.m.   12 comments
Friday, April 25, 2008
thursday stuff
Before I forget, here's a photo of my little matzoh ball at the first seder, last Saturday night. He enjoyed his first taste of puntzles (the small matzoh meal puffs that you put in soup) and was quite adorable in his "Kosher for Passover" bib!

I didn't realize until too late that the backlight made shadows across his face.

Apparently Yannick doesn't realize that either because this is the photo he took for me yesterday.

It's Mommy with Jakob at 49 weeks.
I love this photo- this is what he does all day long. Whenever he wants a kiss, he reaches up, holds your face, closes his eyes and kisses. It is the sweetest thing ever!

When Yannick got home I left Jakob with him and went for a much-needed hair appointment. Here is the end result:

I still look exactly the same but don't have the 4" roots like I did before. I'm really happy with how it turned out. I tried a new salon because my old one is about 25 minutes away from my house. They also have the same work schedule as me, which means that I have to either convince my colorist to stay late for me one night and tip her really well to thank her, or I have to get up at 6:30am to get dressed and drive there for a 7:15 appointment on a Saturday, so I can have them do my hair and still get myself to work for 10:00am. NOT fun. This new place is open until 9pm on Thursdays and Fridays, and is literally 5 minutes from my house. Plus the girl (Kristin) who did it is amazing. She did the hair at Robyn's wedding and it was stunning, and she even fixed(ish) the horrible flower-basket nasty hairdo my mom's guy did on me. I will definitely be going back to Kristin.

Ok- so knitting. I have been knitting dishcloths for our WEBS trip this weekend. You've all now seen the Habs one, and I also made a fleur-de-lys one to represent Quebec...and to represent Montreal I made one with...a bagel on it. :)

I worked on Jakob's sweater while at the hairdresser, and am at the shaping decreases on the last sleeve. I've decided not to do the hood as the pattern calls for, but to do a shawl collar instead, so the sweater is almost finished.

I think I have to make myself an official knitting "to do" list so I don't fall behind. That being said, here it is:

1. Finish Jakob's Cabled Cardigan - due end of May/June

2. Knit 1 of the 2 Family Circle dinosaurs for Jakob for his birthday - due end of May/June

3. Knit the other dinosaur for Jakob for Jakob (optional) - due end of May/June

4. Design the June sock club sock for Robyn's Nest's sock club - due end of May/June

4. Design project #1 for Mary Maxim contest - due June

5. Design project #2 for Mary Maxim contest - due June

I think those are the most important things right now.


posted by Jennifer Lori @ 11:40 a.m.   5 comments
sally melville workshops
A few weeks ago I was privileged to spend the weekend at the Travelodge Hotel with a bunch of knitters and one very famous knitting designer. In honor of her having led the very first Montreal Knitting Guild workshop 10 years ago, (and also because she's just a wonderful teacher), the MKG brought back Sally Melville to run a weekend-long series of workshops.

Sally Melville. Maybe you've heard of her? Author of Styles, The Knit Stitch, The Purl Stitch and Color, not to mention designer of countless patterns in magazines from Interweave to Vogue to...

Yeah. Her.

If you ever get a chance to take a class with Sally, do it! She is the cutest little thing, and tells wonderful stories. She is also a great teacher. Here are my swatches from that weekend:

On Saturday I took 2 workshops- "Rescue Tips and Emergency Techniques" and "Learning to Love Intarsia".

This poor swatch got really put through the wringer! First we had to cut a stitch and unravel back to show how you could cut your knitting to make changes (shorten, lengthen, etc). I wasn't afraid to cut, remember the Superman costume legs? I'd already cut them and lengthened them by an inch, before grafting the feet back on. We also learned how to fix a mistake by duplicate stitching then cutting out the original yarn. In this swatch, the blue stitches in the Fair Isle row were originally black. We duplicated-stitched over them, then cut out the black stitches.
This was our intarsia sampler. She gave us some great techniques for avoiding holes without too much twisting of the yarn.

After the classes Saturday night a bunch of us went out for dinner with Sally. We had a great time and had some yummy (but overpriced) Italian food in Dorval.

On Sunday it was one workshop all day long; I forget the name but it was something about tips and techniques "...for the Self-Taught Knitter".
This was a little stockinette stitch swatch I made to show Angie that knitting wouldn't unravel sideways. She was positive that if you cut your knitting, it will all come undone- this was to show her that even in a plain-old acrylic yarn, the stitches aren't going anywhere. The 1-stitch width you see unravelled above took a LOT of tugging and pulling to get it to "pop out" on its own.
This hideous piece was our increase, decrease and bobble sampler. It also prompted a witty observation- we spend money to go to a workshop, spend all day joyfully knitting away, then come home to our significant others waving this deformed mess at them, proudly exclaiming "look what I did today!!!". No wonder non-knitters don't get it!
This last swatch was for practicing seaming and buttonholes. I think one of the best "a-ha!" moments of the class was her tips on picking up stitches for a neckband. One simple modification to eliminate any gaps- it's genious.

All in all, it was a great weekend spent with some great people. I am thrilled that I was able to meet a knitting legend like Sally, and wish her much success with future books and projects.

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posted by Jennifer Lori @ 10:35 a.m.   3 comments
Tuesday, April 22, 2008
go habs go
Maaike and I are going to see the Yarn Harlot at WEBS this weekend, and decided to keep up the tradition of knitters bringing her washcloths. We worked up some ideas and I quickly designed a cloth for Montreal and a cloth for Quebec. As a final touch, I also came up with a Habs cloth (the Yarn Harlot is from Toronto...and the Habs are doing better than the Maple Leafs this year). These cloths were designed by me with help/inspiration by Maaike.
I was going to wait to knit up a sample in all sizes before publishing, but in the spirit of last night's game 7 win by the Canadians, I'm going to offer a rough cut of the pattern here so you can get your Habs fever on, knitting-style!
(about 4.5" x 6")
(just like the small size but with more space around the logo, adding about an inch to all directions)
(bigger than the others and has the words "GO HABS GO" across the top and bottom)

ETA1- I made a slight change to the pattern (added 2 rows in the red section below the C) for all sizes. The new files were uploaded and the links changed at 9:45am EST on April 23 2008. If you downloaded the files before that date please download the latest version. Thank you!

ETA2- I am aware that there was a problem downloading the files earlier. I have fixed this with the hosting people, and there shouldn't be any more problems accessing the patterns. If you have any problems, please email me!

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posted by Jennifer Lori @ 11:35 p.m.   14 comments
3 generations
I saw these photos on my cousin Amy's site and couldn't resist stealing them from her.

Three generations are represented here, the fourth one (my generation) is missing 'cus we were the ones taking the photos and trying to get the kids to smile.
From the left-
my mom, my great-aunt Rhoda (Reta's sister), Jakob, my paternal grandmother Reta, Sean (Robyn's son), my aunt Carol (Robyn's and Amy's mom, Reta's daughter and my dad's sister).

The two bubbies with their grandsons- my mom and her sister-in-law.

These photos were from the seder on Sunday night at my aunt's house. There was much food, not much knitting, and some hockey.

posted by Jennifer Lori @ 2:17 p.m.   5 comments
Saturday, April 19, 2008
'twas the night...
We're off to the first seder. Happy Passover to everyone who's stuck with eating cardboard for the next 9 days!
I leave you with this photo of some chickens in the spa getting ready for Passover...

(Note: I didn't take this photo, it was sent to me in an email).
posted by Jennifer Lori @ 6:09 p.m.   4 comments
Thursday, April 17, 2008
eleventy months

Here's Mommy with Jakob at 48 weeks. We're at work, and this is proof that I do occassionally wear my hair down. (I always regret it. Jakob is FASCINATED by my hair and can't leave it alone when I wear it down. He always stares at me like he's amazed, and can't stop touching and pulling it).
This is the post I have been trying since yesterday morning to post. I guess Blogger's issues with letting me post photos have been resolved, so here it is.

According to What to Expect the First Year:

By eleven months, your baby

...should be able to:

-get into a sitting position from stomach CHECK

-pick up tiny object with any part of thumb and finger CHECK

-understand "no" (but not always obey it) CHECK

...will probably be able to:

-play patty-check (clap hands) or wave bye-bye CHECK- he's been waving for over a month now, and all of a sudden on Monday he started clapping his hands. All you have to do now is say "clap clap" and he'll clap for you. My little trained seal...

-walk holding on to furniture (cruise) CHECK - his favorite thing to do!

-point or gesture to something to get needs met NOT REALLY - does reaching count?

(I don't know why Yannick always looks like a deer caught in headlights in these photos)

...may possibly be able to:

-pick up a tiny object neatly with tips of thumb and forefinger CHECK - for months now

-stand alone momentarily CHECK - but not of his own will. It scares him.

-say "dada" or "mama" discriminately NOT REALLY - sometimes it sounds like he's trying to say "papa" or "cat", but he's not really calling anything by a name. He says babababa and dadadada and blablabla all the time, but no "mama" or "papa" yet.

-say one word other than "mama" or "dada" NOPE

...may even be able to:

-stand alone well NOPE

-indicate wants in ways other than crying CHECK - among other things, he shakes his hand when he wants his bottle (we sing "shake shake shake, shake your bottle")

-"play ball" (roll a ball back to you) CHECK - we play fetch. He throws it, we chase.

-drink from a cup independently CHECK - he drinks from a cup alone at every meal, and only spills it when he turns it upside down to look at the bottom of the cup.

-use immature jargoning (gibberish that sounds as if baby is talking a made-up foreign language) SOMETIMES - he's definately babbling in a more speech-like way lately

-say three or more words other than "mama" or "dada" NOPE - unlike the girl in our playgroup who is 9 months old and can say "book" and "duck" (with comprehension), Jakob is still wordless.

-respond to a one-step command without gestures ("Give that to me" - without hand out) CHECK - if you ask for a kiss he'll grab your face and kiss you. He'll also clap when you ask him to, or wave hi/bye.

-walk well NOPE

All in all, not bad for 11 months old, I think. I won't go on and on about how big he's getting, and how time flies, because you can imagine it yourself. But I will say that he's absolutely my favorite person in the world right now. Every time he wakes from a nap, while a part of me wants a few extra minutes alone, the rest of me can't wait to run into his room and see him smiling at me. Can't wait to pick him up and get smothered in kisses. Can't wait to see what he'll surprise me with today.
posted by Jennifer Lori @ 6:59 a.m.   3 comments
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