Saturday, October 31, 2009

Happy Hallowe'en!

Happy Hallowe'en Everyone!

The forecast is for rain today, but it's been a beautiful sunny fall day here so far... We'll be doing a little decorating today, carving some of the four plus pumpkins that we have around the house, roasting some of the seeds, and going a trick or treating! The boys are pirate brothers this year. One of them was going to be a "DJ", but changed his mind last minute. Don't ask. I have no idea why the five-year-old wanted to be a "DJ".

Thursday, October 15, 2009

Looking at Trees

It was back to Van Dusen this past weekend to look at the trees! It was a glorious day to take in colors, feel bark, see wildlife and herons flying overhead, explore trees using a mirror and make leaf rubbings.

Saturday, October 03, 2009

Progress on the Fall Cardigan

Everyday, I hope to have a little time to work on my Peace Fleece Cardigan. But, sometimes, I'm hoping all day Friday, when it travelled with me everywhere to the boys' school twice, Science World, and to my bedside, but I didn't knit one single stitch.

Progress may be slow, but it's still progress. Here's where I'm at.... I just need to finish a sleeve and a bit before adding a closure to the front.

Thursday, October 01, 2009

The Magic of Fall at VanDusen

This past Sunday, the boys and I, along with K in the baby carrier, took in some gorgeous autumn colours at the beautiful VanDusen Botanical Gardens. We were lucky to participate in the family program, Plant Detectives: Seeds and Leaves. Although we've visited the Gardens in the past for Seedy Saturday and their annual Garden Plant Sale, it was D & R's first "real" trip INTO VanDusen, an educational garden where they learned how seeds travelled and how and why leaves changed colours at this magical time of year. The boys had the chance to explore and run around the 55-acre Gardens, and I'm happy to report that they had a great time, asking to return as soon as possible! VanDusen is a must-see, inspirational place with an amazing collection of plants and trees, animals, ponds, a maze, a waterfall, and a host of passionate educators for young and old alike! We can't wait to go back for our next visit!

On a scavenger hunt for seeds

Looking for "swimmer" seeds

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

My Favorite Month

The first day of fall was yesterday, but I've already been celebrating the coming of fall for the past month or so, obsessively working on my Peace Fleece Fall Sweater, anticipating the start of school for the boys and going for acorn hunts whenever and wherever we spot oak trees.

The past two months have been a blur, for K's already seven months old! She's now eating solids-- rice cereal, oatmeal, and fruit and veggie purees. She's soo... on the verge of crawling, having no trouble rolling over from her back to all fours, moving forwards and back, as if to propel herself forward like a canonball! Utterly fascinated by our cats, K doesn't think twice about grabbing a fistful of fur if the cats happen to brush past her. We really have to watch her carefully so that she doesn't proceed to stuff her hands into her mouth! She's a "taster", something new to us, as D and R did not do this at her age. We'll have to be more vigilant about picking the Lego pieces off the floor. Above is a pic of K at six months. Last month, we had gone daytripping to Gibsons to check out the Fibre Festival and the surrounding area for possible future (camping?) visits.

And another milestone has passed, as our sweet R entered Kindergarten about two weeks ago! R's K class is all day, so it's been quite an adjustment, but he seems to be enjoying his teachers, the class, the new routine, the hot-lunch program, and even his homework!

Finally, as for D, he's happy to be back socializing at school after a summer of drawing increasingly detailed pictures and of reading Captain Underpants and the Magic Treehouse series.

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Enticed by the Vision of a New Fall Sweater

Last month the spinning mojo was going strong, but this month, the spinning's taken a back seat to some obsessive knitting. Of course, all it takes is a bit of Ravelry time and the next thing you know, I'm going through my stash to see if I can cast on.... I'm so happy to be finally knitting with my Peace Fleece in the most gorgeous green shade, aptly named "Hemlock".

Wednesday, August 05, 2009

Summer 2009 So Far...

The past two weeks have been exciting and busy with a big visit from family overseas. My brothers, sister-in-law, and 14-month old twins, A and Z arrived just as the second (or is it the third?) heat wave hit Vancouver, so there were lots of outings that involved playing with water to cool down. We became tourists within our own city, visiting Stanley Park on more than one occasion--once to the water park and another to Second Beach Pool--one of the best places for family-friendly fun! Our local haunts, Trout Lake and Robson Park, were also well visited.

Stanley Park Water Park

cooling down in Trout Lake

cousins at play

nothing like sand to spark imagination

some r & r at Robson Park Pool

However, that's not to say that playing with fiber was forgotten.... I was actually forced to dig out and dust off the Ashford Traditional to be able to spin my July fiber, Summer Twilight from sweetgeorgia. My bobbin-lead Louet S10 kept breaking my spun singles with its overly aggressive "takeup" onto the bobbin, so I had to switch wheels. It was getting frustrating trying to spin thin on the Louet, and there was no way I was going to waste any more of my new yummy panda fiber (a blend of superwash merino, bamboo, and nylon) that I was aiming to spin in fingering weight.

So after a visit to Birkeland Brothers to purchase some extra bobbins, I'm now enjoying spinning on a wheel with Scotch tension, one with a lot gentler "takeup". I can spin a lot thinner and easier without the stress of breaking the single when joining fiber. Sometimes I wonder why I waited so long to use this wheel. It's a great wheel for a fairly new spinner, like me! Some photos will be posted as soon as I fill up a bobbin or two....

K is now 5 months!

In other exciting news, K is now well into her fifth month in this world! See how our sweet-natured, easy-going baby girl has grown! She's almost rolling over on her own and has the most deadly strong grip! K's exercising her legs as well, and goes into the Jolly Jumper at least once a day. It's never too early to start training when there are two competitive brothers to keep up with!

Thursday, July 16, 2009

The Spinning Mojo is Back!

Lately, I've been really intent on spinning up and plying the Banana Pancakes from sweetgeorgia, carrying the wheel from room to room, so that I could maximize on all possible spare time. It's been a real treat to spin beautifully dyed fibre in such vibrant colours--a great motivation to practise and aim for greater spinning consistency in yarn weight, my "joins", drafting, etc... Here's my Banana Pancakes all spun up and twist set in 2-ply. Even my seven-year-old couldn't resist hugging the new skein of superwash merino handspun right after being wound up on the niddy noddy.

Sunday, July 05, 2009

Picked Up Banana Pancakes

In between party planning for D's 7th birthday last week, I managed to go pick up my June fibre from sweetgeorgia. I was pleasantly surprised to find some primarily bright, happy yellow superwash merino in the bag, aptly named Banana Pancakes. I'm not normally drawn to yellows since I don't usually wear this hard-to-wear colour for asians, but I'm curious to find out how this spins up colour-wise. I've spun merino before and just love it! It's super soft and easy to spin. I'll aim to spin it in a 2-ply worsted weight..... if I ever get to it, that is......Presently, I'm recovering from D's successful 7th birthday party which took place at a U-pick strawberry field and at a busy spray park with a group of little people and moms. A good time was had by all. It's hard to believe my first, whom we used to call "our little man" as a baby, has now been a part of our family for seven years! A gigantic happy birthday to our handsome, fun-loving D!

Thursday, June 25, 2009

Baby K is Four Months

We're now into the first week of K's fourth month! R just graduated from preschool yesterday, and D is wrapping up Grade One today. There's a lot to celebrate and a lot to be grateful for. D is about to have a birthday and we can hardly believe we've had him for seven amazing years! R is happy to be moving on to "big boy" school in the fall, so that he can be with his older brother and "hang" with his friends. K, she's just discovered her hands and feet, and is quite perplexed and entertained by these wonderful moving parts that will someday help her learn how to knit! However, to our surprise, she's also learned how to protest as loud as possible with her set of strong lungs and by arching her back in an attempt to slide off the chair in the above pic. It's enough to put a squeeze on the brain and rattle the eyeballs out of their sockets!

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Gifted On Time

This little set, completed in May, was delivered just two days before a friend's baby boy was born last week. Whew, just in the nick of time! Quite a hip and handsome set, I think, consisting of the Baby Sophisticate and Kiddie Cadet, both found on Ravelry for more ideas. Hopefully, I will be able to see it on baby.

Friday, June 12, 2009

Foundation All Spun Up and Plied

The 4 ounces of sweetgeorgia BFL is now all spun up and Navajo plied. The yield: approximately 150 yards or 133 metres of squishy softness for... maybe.... fingerless mitts? Purty, isn't it? I think the colourway would have been even better with more deeper browns in it, but it's pleasing and calming to the eye nevertheless. It's also been so long since I've Navajo plied that I actually had to look up a tutorial to refresh myself! I think what that really means is that I have to keep up the spinning and plying.

Thursday, June 11, 2009

This Girl Has a Voice

Our happy K has a loud clear voice and knows how to use it! She is often the last one to wake up in the morning, and once she does, she doesn't cry or bawl to tell us she's awake in the bedroom, she calls us expressively with her tonal sounds, as though she is calling us to come over and change her diaper before she gets a rash. I don't think there will be a future need to learn baby sign language.

Monday, June 08, 2009

There's Some Spinning Going On.....

I finally dove in and started spinning my BFL. It's soft and easy to spin, I'm happy to find, as it's my first time spinning blue faced leicester. I'm a bit rusty in my spinning, but the feel of it all comes back to you. I have no idea what drafting method I really use, but I know it's not Paula Simmons' one-handed draw for "softness and speed". I bought Paula Simmons' book, Spinning for Softness and Speed, but I just can't seem to get the hang of her method as useful and practical as it sounds with three kiddies around me. I'm way more comfortable drafting with two hands and do my best to limit the work done by the left hand-- the one that holds the bulk of the fiber mass. I also predraft in preparation for spinning to get the most even results.

Tuesday, June 02, 2009

Owl Mitts

I know it's nearly summer and I just gifted mittens to my sister who came home for a visit to meet her new niece. She's currently living in Edmonton where it has snowed as recently as mid-May apparently . Anyhow, she loves her mitts, even though the eyes that I embroidered on them look a tad bit evil. Button eyes just don't seem to work for me on my knit owls.

This ultra cute pattern, Give a Hoot, designed by Jocelyn Tunney, was probably found one late night while on Ravelry in late February. I'm sure I started this little number the same week K was born. It was a great quick knit resulting in excellent fitting mittens. I used Paton's Classic Merino Wool in dark grey and just followed the pattern without any mods. Easy pattern, really, one not too stressful for the sleep-deprived, "baby" brain..... one that may be also put to use for many Christmas gifts in the future.

Thursday, May 28, 2009

Time to Kickstart the Spinning Mojo

Here's some beautiful blue faced leicester that I picked up from the talented sweetgeorgia more than a week ago. yummy!!!..... and the colors are just mesmerizing together ...hey, coincidentally, they're almost my blog colors too! The only problem is I can't bring myself to pull apart the braid and spin it!!! What to do!!!!

Maybe I'll have to give myself a bit more time to admire it, and think about what I might like to knit out of it first while re-setting up my spinning space... yep... gotta' think baby steps....!

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Stay Calm

When K started crying yesterday, R quickly ran over to rock her, calmly reassuring her that we were not aliens. And he meant it.......... not in a "ha-ha" sort of way, but "as-a-matter-of-fact", "honest-no-joke" sort of way! D, who overheard the conversation, just couldn't help but wonder if his brother is insane.

Saturday, May 23, 2009

Sushi Picnic

A sushi picnic at Kits Beach last night was in order for K's three-month-old birthday. The sun was shining and the playground way too distracting for the boys to eat their kappa rolls and tempura, but we all enjoyed our sushi and did our best to eat as much as we could without spilling too much soy sauce on our blankets and mats.

K is 3 months old!

This past month, K's been cooing, smiling, and trying to "talk" to us, manipulating her lips and tongue to produce as many different sounds as possible. She continues to enjoy imitating conversation. She, surprisingly, doesn't seem to be a big fan of taking baths though, crying at the top of her lungs through most of the bath as though we were torturing her. Could it be our technique, the feel of the water? She is our third child, after all. Whatever it is that bothers her about bath time, we just hope that it eventually changes. One good thing that's developed in the last little while is that she's been sleeping for longer stretches through the night. She falls asleep before 11:00pm or midnight, and I manage to get some uninterrupted sleep between 1am and 5:30am sometimes!!! Yaay, some peaceful knitting time before bedtime!

Above, K's finally modeling the cozy handspun, handknit EZ Best Baby Sweater that I knit before her birth. I super love this pattern and sweater, which I substituted stocking stitch for the gull lace pattern in the original pattern design, just in case K turned out to be a boy. See this post for details.