Free Patterns
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    phlox socks sneak peek
  • Phlox Socks - the Robyn's Nest June Sock Club
  • Pattern will be for sale as of October 1 2008
    (You can email me or leave a comment and I will notify you when the pattern is available.)
I Want to Knit
Monday, June 30, 2008
SP12 QOTW
Question of the Week #3
So far we've had a lot of fun with "summer related" questions, now it's time to answer a "knitting related" one.What would you consider the perfect amount of stash?

Oy. I guess the perfect amount of stash is having whatever you need on hand for any spur-of-the-moment, birth-announcement, gift-idea, sweater-quantity project you might decide to do. Realistic, right?

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posted by Jennifer Lori @ 11:58 AM   3 comments
Friday, June 27, 2008
so who did *you* talk to this week?
So. Yesterday.

It started innocently enough. Maaike was having a hard time with a pattern she's knitting, and on Tuesday night she'd emailed me to see if I could bring my copy of the pattern to work so we could discuss it via msn/email. She's knitting the Puzzle Pillow Blanket out of Meg Swansen's Handknitting (yes, the Meg Swansen, Elizabeth Zimmermann's daughter), and was stuck when trying to follow on of the directions.

Long story short, the pattern says something to the effect of "start at D, knit across to A, turn and knit back. You are now at A." Well, um...no. No you're not. You're back at D. Maaike was back at D, and when I looked at the pattern I couldn't see any way you would be anywhere but D.

Maaike Googled. I Googled. I checked Schoolhouse Press' errata page. We checked Ravelry. There was no online mention of any problems in the pattern, not even in the blurbs of the 6 other people in Ravelry who had knit/are knitting it.

Finally Maaike sent me an msn message- Maybe I should just email Schoolhouse Press. I hear sometimes Meg herself answers the phone!

I offered to call for her, since I knew that while we were both at work, she was surrounded by bosses and coworkers, and I was surrounded by...Jakob. I didn't think he'd rat me out. Maaike said she'd appreciate it, and since I understood the problem, yes, could I please call for her.

I called.

They have a technical line so I called that and told the girl who answered that I had a problem with one of the patterns. It was easier to say *I* was knitting it and had a problem, rather then to start explaining that I was calling for a friend. She asked which pattern and I told her, and she said "hold on please". The next thing I hear is:

"Schoolhouse Press, this is Meg. How can I help you?"

I think my exact response was "MRPHG- *gulp* (remember to breathe) OH! Hi!"

Once I'd composed myself I explained the problem to her, and after a few minutes of trying to rationalize how it could be *our* mistake, she said, "Oh. Huh. Yes, I see...Hmmm." Yup. It was *their* mistake.

Maaike and I had been expecting that, because we couldn't see how we were wrong, but it was still a surprise. I mean, this pattern book had been originally published in 1995 and has been knit by lys-loads of knitters...how could we have spotted something they didn't?

So Meg saw the error clearly in the printed text, then there was a slight pause and she said to me, "You know what the worst part is? Two days ago we received the 20, 000 copies of the latest printing."

Oy.

I apologized for being the barer of bad news and she laughed, then she asked for my name so she could give me credit for finding the error when she would post the errata. I told her my first name, but told her that I had to be honest, and that it wasn't me who found the error, it was my friend Maaike. I told her how to spell Maaike's name (hey Maaike- I forgot to tell you that she asked if there were supposed to be any little dots or squiggles over any of the letters in your name...I said no...I hope that was right!) and after a few more short exchanges we got off the phone.

I was back on msn with Maaike in a flash- OMG Are you sitting down?

I was laughing and grinning and typed the story relatively error-free, and we were both sending smiley emoticons at each other.

Eventually we calmed down and went about our day, then a little later we started discussing how Maaike could best continue her project, as I'd forgotten to ask Meg for her opinion on what to do to fix the pattern. Obviously there were 2 options- knit one more row or knit one less row, both would end with you back at A where you should be. We were both leaning towards "knit one row less" because it was in garter with aran-weight yarn, and an extra garter ridge could throw things off in the future.

We were actually in the middle of writing an email to sent to Schoolhouse Press, asking for their advice, when my phone rang. I answered the phone in my usual work way, with the name of our store followed by "can I help you?".

Imagine my surprise to hear "Hi Jennifer, this is Meg Swansen."

To my credit, I did NOT drop Jakob, although I'm glad I was sitting down when I'd answered.

Turns out she'd called US back to tell us her opinion on what to do about the error, so that we could continue with the pattern! (We were right- the best thing would be to omit the "turn and work back" direction).

The most amusing part of the conversation was when she said to me how she'd tracked us down...apparently she'd Googled Maaike's name and found her, in fact Meg actually said "I found Maaike Lastname", which is amazing because I'd never told her either of our last names, and I just tried Googling Maaike and didn't see any references to her last name, so I'm not sure how Meg did! In any case, it didn't have contact info, so she said they realized that they could *69 me! (That's when you push *69 after a phone conversation and it tells you the number that just called you). I thought it was hysterical that she tracked us down, and am amazed by the customer service, especially since a) I got to speak to Meg Swansen!!! and b) she wasn't profiting from helping us, because we'd already bought the patterns.

(By the way, Meg is quite lovely and charming to speak to, and sounds much, much younger than I would guess her to be. She laughs easily too, which is a relief when you're calling to tell her that there is a mistake in her pattern!)

Way to go, Schoolhouse Press!

p.s. I just checked, and the errata is up on their website! Click here to see it, with the credit to us and everything!

You rock Meg!

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posted by Jennifer Lori @ 3:38 PM   5 comments
Thursday, June 26, 2008
yet more dishcloths
On Tuesday night I finished the green & white dishcloth.
You can see there is 1 tiny mistake where I forgot to slip the white stitch and accidentally knit it- but I like leaving a mistake in every project (except commissioned ones), so I'm not going to fix it.
The back is pretty, in its own way. I wouldn't knit a sweater like this...but it's not horrible.

The same night I cast on for a pink & white one.
I finished it tonight at the West Island Knits meetup.
I couldn't get any knitting done last night because we had my mom's retirement dinner. It was a lovely night with good food and some really great speeches, but I was zonked by the time I got home, and after chatting with my friend Debbie (who had babysat for us) I just crashed and went right to bed.

I'm going to do one more in orange and white (so they all can clash, lol) then will move on to some other parts of this gift package. Then, if I have time before the party, I will do a few more of these in other colors.
I have a CRAZY story to share, but it is a long post and I'm wiped, so I will head off to bed, and leave you in suspense until tomorrow...

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posted by Jennifer Lori @ 10:25 PM   2 comments
Wednesday, June 25, 2008
by the way...
*I* can't show you yet what the Phlox Socks look like, but if you want to click here, you can see Stephanie's lovely pair. Yes, the Yarn Harlot Herself has knit my socks, and made the cutest little modification. Of course, I can't tell you what the modification is until I can tell you some details about the pattern (July 1st), but feel free to go on over and check hers out. You can also see them on Ravelry if you prefer, hers are here, and the pattern's page is here.

---

Now then, this isn't just the Phlox Socks blog, folks. There has been other knitting going on at Casa Del Jennifer. Yet another Ballband Dishcloth has sprung forth from my needles. I don't have the photos with me here at work, but I'll post them here and on Ravelry later tonight, I hope. I've finished the green and white one and have begun a pink and white one.

I'll be leaving work in a little bit to go to Mackenzie's bris, and it will be a nice little diversion from my day (although I'll probably enjoy it a lot more than Mackenzie will!). Jakob will get to see his cousins, and I'll get to have lunch with Yannick for a nice change.

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posted by Jennifer Lori @ 10:40 AM   3 comments
to Anne from the comments
Hi Anne,

I couldn't email you because your comment wasn't linked to a profile or email address, so I hope you come back to the blog to look for an answer!

Yes, the yarn and pattern for the Phlox Socks are available seperately. In fact, only the 30 people who bought the June kit got them together. From now on the pattern will be available through me (as of October 1st) and the yarn is available through Biscotte & Cie, the hand-dyer who provided it for the pattern. Although it is called Alexandrite in the pattern, she is selling it as African Violet.

http://www.biscotte.etsy.com

I hope you get your hands on some, it is a great yarn!

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posted by Jennifer Lori @ 8:03 AM   6 comments
Tuesday, June 24, 2008
SP12 QOTW
This is the Question of the Week for week 2:
As a kid, what did you look forward to most about summer vacation/break/holiday?

I'd have to say that I looked most forwards to not having to be in school and do homework. Freedom, basically.

To those of you who were looking for information on the yaron used for the Phlox socks- I'll be posting that later today (I don't have the link to the handpainter's etsy shop here).

To everyone in Quebec- enjoy the day off!

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posted by Jennifer Lori @ 9:44 AM   5 comments
Monday, June 23, 2008
the good, the bad and the ugly (long)
Sorry for the radio silence, but I went to Toronto for the weekend and don't like to advertise on the blog that I'm going away. (Although I think I did mention that I was going away...I just didn't want to confirm "I'm leaving NOW").

Do you think it was overly optimistic to have packed this much yarn for one weekend?
Asked me if I used even one-eighth of it. Go on, ask me.

My mom, our cousin Mona, Jakob and I left on Friday morning. I sat in the back with Jakob and finished Eden's Shrug. The photos I'd taken in the car came out awful, so here are some nicer ones that I took the next afternoon at my aunt's place (where we stayed).
The shrug came out really cute! It was such a fast knit, and I love the fabric obtained by using the Cotton Look on slighty larger needles than normal. I was worried it looked HUGE for the 12 month size, but I tried it on Jakob and it was only a little loose, which is perfect. (No photos of my son in a pink bolero, sorry!)

Here's the back view. You can almost tell how light and sheer this is if you look at where the back is lying on the fronts- you can just see through it. It is EXACTLY what I wanted to achieve and I'm really, really happy with how it turned out.
Having finished the shrug and still having about an hour to go in the drive (I didn't knit the whole time- Jakob refused to sleep and I had to keep him distracted) I pulled out the yarn and pattern to knit the Velvet Oblivion (Ravelry link) from Knitty. This was the first project I had ever bought yarn for that became stash, and it has been sitting in my stash since the summer of 2004 when the pattern came out. I'm putting together a gift package for my cousin's fiancé's bridal shower in 2 weeks, and I wanted to include a luxurious face mask. It is a PAIN to knit because I didn't realize my yarn was slightly thicker than the yarn called for in the patter, and the needle size is deliberately smaller to obtain a blackout fabric. Still, I was cruising along when IT happened:
See that missing spot on the upper right? I'd had to force the needle into one of the stitches and didn't realize that I'd actually torn the core thread that holds the chenille yarn together. I didn't realize it until 3 rows later when the ends worked their way free and I suddenly had a hole in the knitting. Had this been almost any other yarn I could have fixed it later, but trying to fix an aran-bulky weight yarn knit with 3.5mm needles in garter stitch with NO stitch definition was not my idea of something to do. I had no choice- I cut the yarn and started over.

At that point we arrived in Toronto. We had just enough time to wait for Mona to get picked up (she was visiting her daughter who recently moved to TO), change and leave for the out-of-towner's dinner. We were supposed to be there for 6:30. We only arrived in Toronto at 7:00. Whoops! Luckily almost everyone was still there when we strolled in around 7:45, and there was still food for us.

Go figure Jakob didn't nap all day, not a single time during the (took us) 7 hour drive. His usual bedtime is 7:15pm. Once we'd got him changed and back into the car to go to the dinner, it was 7:30. We hadn't made it 3 blocks before he fell asleep. The 10 minutes it took us to get to the dinner was enough to recharge his batteries, though, as he fell asleep when I tried to transfer him to the stroller I'd brought, and he kissed, flirted and charmed his way through the rest of the night.

By the time we got back to my aunt's house and were changing into pjs my dad and Yannick arrived. They'd come down together later in the evening so they could get a mostly-full day of work in. I put Jakob to bed then crashed myself.

Saturday we had to rush to get everyone up, dressed and fed so we could be at my cousin's Bar Mitzvah (the reason we'd driven down). We left the house at Jakob's usual morning-nap time, and he fell asleep en route. This time I had more luck and was able to transfer him to the stroller without waking him. He slept through the first hour of the services, and once he woke up Yannick took him into the lobby area to play for the next 2 hours. At that point we were all starving, and they opened up a lunch buffet.

By 1:30 we were on our way back to my aunt's house and it was right in time for Jakob's usual afternoon nap, so the plan was to put him down and I'd knit while my parents went to walk around Yonge street, and Yannick went for a drive to continue listening to the last Harry Potter book on CD. (Don't say anything- I haven't finished it yet!). The plan worked...for everyone but me. Jakob REFUSED to nap. I had decided a few months ago that even if he didn't nap, if we were home or at work and were able to stick to his usual schedule, then 2-4pm he'd be in his crib. It didn't matter if he cried or played, but he was staying in his crib until 4. He cried for about 20 minutes then started playing with his dolls and blanket, and I managed to get some knitting done on the Velvet Oblivion. I was worried that it looked too big, but it was hard to get it stretched out properly on the needles, so I decided to deal with it later. I was right about to join in the fun-fur yarn, when Jakob woke up.

This is the look I got for trying to get his attention away from the remote he was after. I'd rearranged my aunt's couches and ottoman to make a safe play area, and we knit/played until it was time to get ready for the Bar Mitzvah party that evening. (The morning part was the services in synagogue, the night-time part was the big party with a 4-course meal, dj, casino setup, sweet table, etc).

While Yannick got himself ready I got Jakob dressed, then myself. Last-minute I decided that Jakob wasn't fully dressed without a funky hairdo.

You like? ;] We had been joking with the Bar Mitzvah boy's mom (my cousin) about how the invitations said "casually elegant", as a code for "no jeans". We decided that Jakob's faux-hawk would be just the right touch to throw the "casual" into his look.

The night was a big success. Jakob fell asleep on the way to the party but woke up immediately when the car stopped and spent the rest of the night staring after the laser light displays. He was clearly exhausted but didn't make a single fuss, and charmed the waitresses by blowing them kisses all night. He was an absolute angel and we left as soon as we could to bring him home and put him to bed.

On Sunday one of my other cousins was throwing a brunch for our close family, so while everyone else was getting ready, I set up the couch area for Jakob again and finished the Velvet Oblivion face mask.

I'm not considering it a "finished object" yet, though.

Once it was off the needles, it had some serious flaws. Forgetting the fact that it is larger than normal, following the directions for the fun-fur part led to the entire outer edge being pulled in too tight (too few stitches to go around). The result is this- a face mask that looks a lot more like a funky bra. I was going to completely start over, but I think I'll first start by undoing the Boa yarn and redoing it with enough stitches to avoid the cupping. If it looks good, albeit large, I'll keep it as is. If it still ends up crappy then I'll remake it and fudge the numbers to end up with a smaller result.

We went to the brunch where Jakob had a blast with his little cousins, then the three of us went to meet Eden. She was absolutely adorable and it was great to see her parents again. I really don't see them enough since they live so far away.

When we left them it was time to hop on the 401 East and head home. The drive took about 7 hours again, but just as on the drive down, we stopped twice (it's usually about a 5 hour drive). Jakob did sleep for about an hour, but was up and crying the entire last 2 hour stretch of the drive. (Which was actually a good thing, because he was so exhausted that a diaper change and bottle was enough to knock him out once we got home).

In the car I started and finished more of my cousin's bridal shower gift: a ballband dishcloth. (Ravelry link). Yes, the pattern has been published in the Mason/Dixon book, but I used the actual pattern from the Peaches 'n Cream website.

The yarn is Bernat Handicrafter Cotton.
I plan on making a bunch of these in different colors as another part of the gift basket I'm putting together.
Here's the back, for those of you who like that sort of thing.

Today Jakob had his first dentist appointment (all good!) then playgroup, then while he took his afternoon nap I did some much-needed cleaning around the house. Two of my siblings came over to play with him for a bit, then once he was down for the night I parked myself on the couch with Yannick and worked on the next dishcloth.

This is where I stopped for the night. The Sage Green cotton was left over from the dishcloths I'd crocheted for Esther last year(?) and I just finished the ball. I have another ball in my stash with a different dye lot, but I'm really not concerned about a dishcloth being all matchy-matchy.

So that's it. A fun weekend away, although nothing beats coming home and being back in your house, with your schedule and routines. Some knitting was done, some turned out very well and some...let's not speak of it again until we see if it is fixable. And a son who was so perfectly behaved during the entire trip that we are really worried we're in for hell during his teenage years. No kid can be THIS perfect his whole life!



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posted by Jennifer Lori @ 11:28 PM   3 comments
Friday, June 20, 2008
693
Holy cow. My silly little blog jumped from an average of 30 visitors each day to 740(!!!!!!) yesterday! Of those, 693(!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!) of you got here by following a link on the Yarn Harlot's website.

Wow. And she didn't even post a photo of the full sock! Y'all came on over based on a teaser!

I'm flattered! I'm also guessing that you're not here for Jakob, or to find out what I'm knitting now. So here is the information you're probably looking for:

"Phlox Socks" is the pattern I designed for the Robyn's Nest June Sock Club Kit. I put a little teaser of my own in the left sidebar over there because I need to give international members a chance to receive their kits before I post the full photo. (Any of you who have received your kits can post photos, by the way. It's only me who needs to wait). :)

I'll be posting photos and full details of the sock here and at the sock's page on Ravelry on July 1st.

The pattern will be available for purchase on October 1st. (Sock club members have a short exclusivity on the pattern).

I hope it will be worth the wait!

---

In other news, I'm still rushing to finish Eden's shrug. I don't have a photo to show you, as my camera is packed. After running around to pack up Jakob's and my stuff last night, I didn't have the energy to sit down and do any more knitting. I have finished the front ribbing and only have the narrower back ribbing and cuffs to do. I'm sure I can finish them and the seaming in the car, if necessary.

As an aside- why is it that for every trip, even day trips, *I* end up running around like a chicken with no head ticking stuff off of lists to make sure I've packed everything for myself and Jakob, food, clothes, toys, etc... while Yannick calmly watches TV or whatever then last minute throws some of his clothes in a bag and calls himself "packed"?

I'm not complaining, really- I'd much rather know that I did the packing so I know everything is there and nothing is missing...but it does irk me a bit when I'm scrambling like mad, staying up really late to get it all done, but meanwhile he goes to bed early.

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posted by Jennifer Lori @ 8:43 AM   7 comments
Wednesday, June 18, 2008
a week of pink knitting
I finished the Mary Maxim contest thingie on Sunday afternoon, right in between brunch with Yannick's family and dinner with my family. They should have recieved it already (must go check that online!) and the judging takes place next week, so once I hear back from them I'll post some photos of that project.

Once we'd got home and put Jakob to bed I swatched for Eden's shrug. I swatched the Cottonlook first because I really wanted to use it, and luckily I got gauge easily with the required needles. It's such a completely different fabric than I would have obtained with the Decor- the CL can actually be used on smaller needles so working on a 5mm results in a slightly open fabric that has a lot of drape, but the yarn (which is probably an acrylic/cotton blend) behaves as if it were a cotton/linen blend. In fact, it feels/looks remarkably similar to the Sirroco yarn I'd used for my Shapely Tank a few years ago. In any case, it will be a nice, light garment that will be perfect to wear over a short sleeved or tank topped dress.
So the swatch was done on Sunday, and then I ripped it out and began the shrug itself. The above photo shows my progress when I went to bed Sunday night.
I tried to get a closeup of the knitting but it doesn't do the drape of the fabric justice.
This is where I was as of Monday night. It's a fast knit!

There is no Tuesday night progress photo because I had no Tuesday night. I don't know what came over me, but I was yawning during my whole drive home from work, and once Yannick came home and was able to take over playing with Jakob, I just crashed. I was actually asleep BEFORE 8pm for the first time in...I can't even remember how long.
Here's last night's progress. All that remains to do is to pick up around the neck/back and do a few rows of ribbing, then the same thing on each cuff. I'm hoping to finish it tonight so it will be ready and wrapped before we meet Eden for the first time.

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posted by Jennifer Lori @ 11:26 PM   3 comments
Sunday, June 15, 2008
Happy Father's Day!
A big "Happy Father's Day" to all the fathers, grandfathers, foster parents, step-fathers, and any man who makes a positive difference in a child's life. You rock!

In honor of Daddy's Day, I'll share with you some photos of Yannick and Jakob at the park on Saturday evening.

...watching the planes go by. Jakob HAS to stop, stare and usually point EVERY time a plane goes by. He loves them!
...watching a squirrel run up a tree.


...and exploring the "jungle" pathway near our house.

We had a really fun time at the park, and I was so happy to watch them together that I didn't mind pushing the empty stroller around. Honest. ;)

We hit a little milestone last week- Jakob is no longer in his bucket! He's officially tall enough to be out of it, AND is past the weight maximum, so I brought him over to the police station and had a nice officer install his new car seat for me. It's also his first time being forward-facing in the car, and it took him a day or so to get the confused look off of his face.

I knew the Mary Maxim submission would be coming to an end soon (I have to mail it on Monday), so I started pulling out my supplies for the next project. These are my two yarn choices for Eden's shrug:

The first is some pink Cindy Cotton Look that I inherited from my grandmother. I have 2 huge cakes of this stuff, and no ideas for a good project. I thought it would be really sweet for the shrug, and if the gauge works out, this is my first choice.
As a second option, I have more of my seemingly-never-ending supply of dusty rose Patons Decor. I swear this stuff seems to multiply in my stash. I'm sure the gauge will work for this, but it would make a much different garmet, much heavier and "wintery", and I hope I don't have to use it.

I'm sure I have a ton of other options in my stash too, should neither of these work. But I'll be swatching tonight and will have a better idea of what will work later.

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posted by Jennifer Lori @ 11:59 PM   6 comments
Saturday, June 14, 2008
no kay eye pee for me
While much of the knitting community celebrates WWKIP day (World Wide Knit In Public Day), I didn't really get a chance to participate. I would have loved to have been with my fellow guilders at the annual end-of-the-year garden party, and I would also have loved to be with the West Island Knitters over at the food court at Fairview (and not only for the vast array of food- yum!).

But, alas, I had to work today. My only bit of knitting solidarity was to work a few rows at lunch time, while I re-read a Cory Doctorow short story and ate last night's leftover risotto. (Yay for the auto-scroll feature in eReader!). I wasn't about to ask for the day off when I'm going to get a very nice deal over the next two months- the week of the St-Jean Baptiste holiday my store switches from Tues-Sat to Mon-Fri. I have Jakob's playgroup on Monday afternoons. I was heartbroken at the thought of not being able to go for 2 months (I mean Jakob was, yeah, that's it) so we arranged a deal: I will go in from 9-12, give Jakob lunch, then leave for playgroup. My mom, who will have retired by then, will go in from 12-as long as she can stand it and replace me. I can't believe they're letting me do this, so I'm not going to try and pull any "favors" for a while!

Knitting news- I've almost finished the Mary Maxim submission. I have decided against doing a second design- mostly because everything I come up with I like too much to give away. So the one design it is. I'll be losing the $5 entry fee, but saving my sanity. A fair trade! (Nice to know my sanity is only worth $5, but hey).

So I'm already thinking about my next project, which is for baby Eden and needs to be done by next weekend. I went through some of my pattern books and Ravelry, and decided to do the Debbie Bliss Baby Shrug. (Ravelry link here, non Ravelry link here). It's a free pattern, it's really cute and is perfect for layering. I've already added it to my Ravelry notebook here for those who like to follow along.

No matter what I need to finish the Mary Maxim thing by Monday because that is my deadline for mailing it to Ontario on time, so as soon as I finish it I will be swatching for the shrug.

Next time- a post with photos!

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posted by Jennifer Lori @ 3:57 PM   1 comments
Thursday, June 12, 2008
SP12 QOTW
This week's question is:
"What's your favorite summertime beverage?"

Hmmm...I don't drink, so my favorite summertime beverage is probably the same as my favorite any-other-season beverage. I'll go with "water", since I'm trying to drink more of it. My second favorite would be either iced tea or soda, but I'm trying to cut back on caffeine and get somewhat healthier, so water it is!

Still knitting along.

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posted by Jennifer Lori @ 11:26 AM   2 comments
Wednesday, June 11, 2008
no pressure, really

I know this is totally inane but I was leaving a comment on a blog I stalk read and this was my "verify that I'm a real human" word. I thought it was too cute! I want to knit a lufbug!

I'm getting close to the 3/4 mark of the first Mary Maxim contest submission, and am starting to think about upcoming deadlines. I think I do this every year- berate myself for imposing them, then impose new ones all over again!

Here's the current plan, posted both to give me a push and to remind me later:
1. Finish Mary Maxim sub # 1
2. Design and knit Mary Maxium sub # 2
3. Go to the post office next Monday (!) and mail subs 1 & 2 to Ontario
4. Spend the week knitting something for my friend Bernie's brand new daughter, as we will be going to Toronto the weekend of the 21st and we will be seeing Bernie and his wife and meeting little Eden for the first time.
5. Knit Mackenzie's birth/bris gift hopefully by his bris
6. Knit my cousin's fiancés bridal shower gift hopefully by her shower in early July
7. Knit Julie & Rich's daughter's birth gift...rediculously late- the baby is already 5 months old!
8. Try to finish the Silk Rumple shawl in time for my cousin's wedding in early August.
9. Knit something for a friend's late September/early October baby
10. Knit something for a friend's November baby
11. Knit Christmas gifts for Yannick's family, maybe early to get them out of the way.
I might need to switch the orders of 7 & 8, if Julie doesn't mind waiting the extra month. At this point I'm going to knit Kayla something sized at least 12/18 months, so it will still fit when she gets it.
Holy crap my year is booked. That's at least 1 project due every month! How did this happen??
I'm going to go wake Jakob up from his nap and go home- it's almost 5pm and I'm going knitting at a pub with the West Island girls tonight! :]
posted by Jennifer Lori @ 4:45 PM   5 comments
another meme
I just noticed I was tagged for a meme by Robyn, so here are my answers.

The Rules - Each player answers the questions about themselves. At the end of the post, the player then tags 5-6 people and posts their names, then goes to their blogs and leaves them a comment, letting them know they’ve been tagged and asking them to read your blog. Let the person who tagged you know when you’ve posted your answer.

1. What I was doing 10 years ago: 1998.

In the summer of 1998 I had, what I like to call, the Armageddon incident. I credit (or blame, depending on the day, lol) the movie Armageddon for me meeting Yannick. Three guy friends and I had gone to get tickets for the early show at the now-gone movie theater in the Zellers complex. The early show was sold out because the movie had *just* opened, and we were only able to get tickets for the late show that started over 2 hours later. Rather than leave, we decided to go to the bar in the same complex and hang out to kill time. As it was still rather early, the only patrons at the bar were the "regulars", a bunch of older guys who wouldn't "fit in" at other bars. We put our loonies down on the pool table to get in on the games, and they put theirs down, and after a few games we were all taking turns playing each other. I was much younger (and thinner) then, and I remember I was wearing a cute *little* tank top and shorts, and I was joking around with the regulars very easily, and the owner of the bar came up and offered me a job working there. I reminded him I'd applied when I was 18 and he wasn't interested then, and said I'd have to think about it because I already had a full-time job working at a retail store.

I did end up taking the job, and the owner taught me how to bartend, and I ended up working there until the following February. I also kept my retail job, and for 2 months I worked 5 days a week 10am-5pm at the store, and 3 nights a week 10pm-3am at the bar. It was loooooong, but I ended up giving up the retail job because the bar was more fun and made me more money.

There was only one guy bartender there, and a bunch of his friends would come and hang out every night. Yannick was one of his friends. We met over the summer...we started hanging out in November...and we started dating on December 1st 1998. The rest, as they say, is history. :)

2. What 5 things are on on my to-do list for today (not in any particular order):
-buy milk for Jakob before I go home
-go to a local pub for a SnB with the West Island knitters
-get as much knitting done as possible on my Mary Maxim submission
-make sure I get my mom's French Toast Cinnamon Casserole (or something) recipe so I can check what ingredients I'm missing to have everything on hand for this weekend when we do a Father's Day brunch with Yannick's family
-catch up on my Bloglines and maybe add an old project or two to my Ravelry notebook

3. Snacks I enjoy:
Regular flavored chips, Cheesies, almost anything that is fried or cheesy, fresh fruit, and lately anything that is sour.

4. Things I would do if I was a billionaire:
Clear my debts and any debts in my immediate family, give my dad enough to retire (my mom is retiring this year already), take a long trip with my family, buy the first 50 blog readers to respond 2 skeins of yarn of their choice, donate to charity, put money aside for my children's education and savings accounts then sit back, relax, knit and finally have time to work on my designs.

5. Places I have lived:
Montreal, Quebec.

I tag:Tara, Kadi, Dianne, Maaike, JayJay (if you're not too busy), and the blogless Kate to post her answers in the comments.
posted by Jennifer Lori @ 10:35 AM   2 comments
Saturday, June 07, 2008
Secret Pal 12 Questionnaire
1. What is/are your favorite yarn/s to knit with? What fibers do you absolutely *not* like?
I like everything. It's more about the color than the feel for me, although I don't like yarns that are very scratchy (like Alafoss Lopi). I can knit with them, but don't want to wear them afterwards. I think acrylic has its place and have a lot of 100% acrylic in my stash, but I use it for specific projects. Same thing with 100% cotton. Also, a touch of mohair or alpaca or other fuzzy stuff is ok for the right project, but not my favorite. Oh- and I HATE yarn that sheds! I love any sock yarn but I've never knit with the 1 skein of Koigu or the 5 skeins of STR that I have. I've never used Dream in Color sock yarn, although I have 3 skeins of Smooshy for a shawl. I love, love, love Fleece Artist and Handmaiden's colors, and their Sea Silk....oh my. I used it for a scarf for my mom and I am so jealous that I gave it to her!

2. What do you use to store your needles/hooks in?
My straights are still packed but I used to store them in a white vase. My circulars (almost all I use) are stored in a plastic box-style pencil case. My dpns (the other half of what I use most often) are in a large butter cookie tin. My crochet hooks are in a crochet hook roll. All 3 containers (circs, dpns and crochet hooks) are in a clear, thick plastic bag with a snap cover that was the packaging for one of Jakob's gift sets. (Kinda like the bag that linens come in).

3. How long have you been knitting & how did you learn? Would you consider your skill level to be beginner, intermediate or advanced?
I consider myself advanced. The very few techniques I haven't tried yet (is there anything besides steeking I haven't tried?) are due to lack of time/project, not out of fear or insecurity. I learned how to knit at around 7 or 8 from my paternal grandmother, and I have vague memories of a doll-sized red and white stockinette scarf-in-progress. I picked the needles up again in 1998 with the intent of making a sweater for Yannick for Christmas, but found knitting slow and annoying. I taught myself to crochet instead and spent a few years crocheting clothing and toys and accessories. When I had a gift to make with a fuzzy yarn it was too frustrating to crochet so I decided to knit it. It went a lot better than I'd remembered, and I decided to try another project. When that one was actually fun too I bought all the how-to books I could find and took a class at my LYS. I also joined my local guild and some local knitting groups, and gleaned as much info from everyone as I could.

4. Do you have an Amazon or other online wish list?
Yes, in my sidebar over to the left.

5. What's your favorite scent?
Only one? Vanilla. If I can expand a bit...I also like the scent of mint, citrus, cinnamon, baking... The only scents I can't stand are florals. Not in perfume, air fresheners, nothing.

6. Do you have a sweet tooth? Favorite candy?
I have a salt tooth! My absolute favorite snacks are chips and popcorn, I LOVE kettle-style chips like Miss Vickies and such, and Ruffles and Pringles. I like things simple- my favorite flavour of chips is "Regular". I also LOVE movie theater popcorn DRIPPING with butter, but not the microwave version. I'd rather pop my own fresh and melt my own butter on it. Mmmm.... I don't like caramel corn but I LOVE kettle corn...something about that slightly sweet taste with salt....

Ok, now I'm hungry!

I will eat candy, but not plain chocolate. I'm not a chocoholic and need there to be nuts or nougat in it to enjoy it. I HATE dried fruits IN food (like cake or chocolates) and I can't stand black licorice.

Lately I have been craving the odd chocolate bar or three, though.

I also tend to gravitate towards stuff that has peanut butter in it. Mmmm....

7. What other crafts or Do-It-Yourself things do you like to do? Do you spin?
Crochet and cross stitch. I can draw and paint and sculpt but I don't do much of it any more. I have never spun anything or even tried but I will be taking a class on a spinning wheel later this summer. I enjoy to sew also, but do most of it by hand.

8. What kind of music do you like? Can your computer/stereo play MP3s? (if your buddy wants to make you a CD)
I listen to everything but my all-time favorite music is 80's. The ballads...the rock songs...you wouldn't believe how often I "rock out" to Bon Jovi in the car! My computer can play MP3s, my car can't, but I have an iPod and/or I can burn music to a CD in another format and play it in the car.

9. What's your favorite color(s)? Any colors you just can't stand?
I use them all, I like them all. Blue is my favorite but I hardly buy it 'cus I live in jeans and am always afraid of wearing the wrong blue top. I gravitate towards autumn colors, the browns, the deep greens, the shot of oranges or reds... I love black too, and wear black most often. I'm not afraid of colour though!

10. What is your family situation? Do you have any pets?
I'm married to Yannick and have a 1-year-old son, Jakob. We have an 8-year-old cat named Sam.

By the way, let me take this opportunity to make a small note. I've noticed that many people pronounce Yannick's name wrong. Even when I introduce him...they change the pronunciation when saying it back. Let me clarify. His name is Yannick...said like "ya-nick". Even though it is a French name. Even in French the accent is on the "ya" part, it comes out more like "yah-nick". In fact, we met at the bar I used to work at, and it was so loud that for the longest time I thought his name was "Nick" 'cus I only heard the end part over the din. I don't understand why 80% of my family and friends INSIST on calling him "ya-neek". And they say it WITH a Parisian accent, like they are trying to accomodate us. WE don't use an accent! Ok, rant over. :)

11. Do you wear scarves, hats, mittens or ponchos?
I don't think I've worn a poncho since I was 6. This question hasn't been updated in a few years eh? ;) I wear scarves all Winter and half of Spring. I'm trying to wear more hats. I should wear mittens or gloves but I always forget to bring them with me.

12. What is/are your favorite item/s to knit?
Stuff that can be knit. Anything I can be proud of.

13. What are you knitting right now?
Can I have another sheet of paper? My list of ufos is looooooooooooooooong! But the stuff in the most active rotation right now are the projects I'm trying to design for the Mary Maxim contest, since they have a deadline that is right around the corner.

14. Do you like to receive handmade gifts?
Sure!

15. Do you prefer straight or circular needles? Bamboo, aluminum, plastic?
Circulars, the longer the better since I magic-loop stuff in the round. Dpns too, for socks. Addi turbos all the way, but bamboo for the appropriate yarns when metal is too slippery.

16. Do you own a yarn winder and/or swift?
Yes to both.

17. How old is your oldest UFO?
5 years? 4 years? If I don't count a skirt/top combo that I've decided to scrap, my oldest is probably the Enchanted Forest cardigan by DKNY for Vogue Knitting. I've listed it in Ravelry as having been started in March of 2005...so just over 3 years.

18. What is your favorite holiday?
Any one that gives me a day off of work!

19. Is there anything that you collect?
Charming Tails figurines. Yarn. Stuff with ladybugs on it.

20. Any books, yarns, needles or patterns out there you are dying to get your hands on? What knitting magazine subscriptions do you have?
I've love Barbara Walker's "Knitting from the Top". I don't need more needles. There are a lot of tops at the White Lies Designs site that I love. I have a subscription to Interweave Knits and Cast On (by the Knitting Guild of America).

21. Are there any new techniques you'd like to learn?
Intarsia in the round. I'd like to do a project that needs steeks.

22. Are you a sock knitter? What are your foot measurements?
I love to knit socks. My foot is 9.5" around and 9.6" long.

23. When is your birthday?
September 11.

24. Are you on Ravelry? If so, what's your ID?
Yup. My ID is jenniferlori .

Labels:

posted by Jennifer Lori @ 1:29 PM   1 comments
Thursday, June 05, 2008
looooong weekend
I know, it's almost next weekend. But I finally have a chance to tell you about last weekend, so here goes. Ignore the fact that the date on this post is about 2 days behind the day you're actually reading this, I've been trying to get this post up for a while now.

So, where was I? Oh yeah, last weekend. I worked on Saturday, then spent the night working on the June sock and baking a cake. We were having a birthday party to celebrate Jakob's first birthday with our family, and I wanted to bake a healthy birthday cake to counter all the sweets my mom would be preparing.

I baked the cake Saturday night so it would have time to cool overnight, and Sunday morning when we got back from Jakob's swimming lessons, I iced it:



His party "theme" was Superman, and I really wanted to put a big "S" shield on the cake, but no matter how hard I tried I couldn't get the white icing tinted a vivid red, blue or yellow. The closest I got was cornflower blue, pepto pink and a pale yellow. So I moved on to option "B":



There's a local kitchen store who will take a photograph and print it (in edible dyes) on a thinner-than-paper sheet of edible icing. In this photo my printout of the image I made on the computer is on the left, and the icing photo is on the right. Not bad eh? It's not as creative as icing it myself, but I'm happy with how it looks, and it only cost $12.95 for the icing sheet. It took 10 minutes of waiting at the store, which makes this a great option for a last-minute event.

And here's how it turned out. The cake was cold from the fridge so the icing sheet didn't melt into it, and I did have to cut away one side to be able to put his "1" candle in, but all in all, I think his first birthday cake came out ok. I would have rather have done some really cool decoration myself, but it didn't work out.

Here he is, about to dig in...


...and enjoying his first slice. He spent a good 15 minutes licking up every drop of icing before working his way to the cake.

Here's a photo of Jakob and me. I think this was the only time I actually got to hold him the entire party- between the family who rarely sees him and the family who always sees him, he was a very "in demand" baby!

A photo of the bubbies... from left: Sean (Robyn's son), Carol (Robyn's and Amy's mom and my aunt), Jakob, my mom, Marlene (our cousin) and Oliver (also our cousin). Carol is my dad's sister, and Marlene is my grandfather's sister's daughter.

(The last 5 photos were stolen with permission from Amy's blog).

On Monday I finished the June socks. It felt good to cross something off my deadline list. I photographed them, finalized the pattern and sent it off to Robyn to include in her kits. So if you've ordered a Robyn's Nest June Sock Club kit, they're gonna be coming soon!

One project down, and on to the next. I'm designing 2 projects for the Mary Maxim 2008 contest. I hadn't realized until after I'd sent in my entry fee that they get the sole distribution and publication rights to any winning patterns. I'm not thrilled about that, but I will be sending something in anyways. The pattern DOES keep my name as designer, and it can't hurt to get my name out there.

Here's my first swatch.

Don't try and read it- that was just some test duplicate stitch to see what worked best. Also, don't try and guess what it is...you won't. Seriously.
This is the wip as of a few days ago. The yarn is Patons Shetland Chunky, in white and navy blue.

I'll leave you with one of my favorite photos lately.






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posted by Jennifer Lori @ 7:27 AM   6 comments
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