Tuesday, December 28, 2010

All is now quiet

After three days of festivities,we are now relaxing! The house is very quiet, everyone is gone back home. Hubby is at work. I will make myself a good cup of tea and take it easy today...pure luxury!

The Réveillon, Christmas dinner and Boxing day dinner all went well. We had lots of good laughs and good food. It's so nice to see eveyone enjoy themselves and share the same old stories year after year adding new ones here and there.
Now I just need to find my recipe for Turkey Pot Pies so that I can do something with the leftover turkey.

I received a pair of snowshoes and will be trying them out today. I look forward to going down the trails with a dog or two with me.

I made my godchild a pair of 100% baby alpaca mitts. The yarn is from Misty Alpacas (not Misty Haven Alpacas this time). The pattern is a mixture of several mitten patterns I've made in the past. I love the chunky yarns and Sara really liked the colours.

And these bright red mitts were for my daughter. They are a bit big but she assured me she would wear them over a thin pair of gloves for extra warmth.
I think I will trace everybody's hand on paper so that I have their size whenever I want to knit mittens for them. I'll do the same for their feet while I'm at it!!

I had bought a beautiful mohair and merino yarn from Wellington Farms this fall. These socks were for my daughter. I really like how thick they turned out. And these fit her perfectly!

And here is the same sock but in a different colour, for me! They look a little scruffy because I have not blocked them yet. Might do that today.

I had purchased the Kristin Nicholas Color by Kristin book a while back. This book is great inspiration for anyone that wants to add colour to their knits.

Last night, I casted on the Mother-daughter mittens from the book.
I used four colours of Cascade 220 I had on hand.

And here is how far along I am.

Sold some hand dyed yarn from my Etsy shop last night! I don't think that the post office is open today so I will have everything ready to mail out early tomorrow morning.

Hoping you can spend time doing something you love today.
I hear my knitting calling me! I'll show you my progress in a few days. 

Friday, December 24, 2010

Traditions of Noël

Traditions give me a sense of continuity, a link between the past and the present, a time to appreciate the way things used to be and the joy of how they are today.
One tradition that is very important to my family and I is the Christmas Eve Réveillon. As for all french-canadian families, the réveillon is bigger than Christmas day. It's when the gathering starts and the party gets going.
As a young child, the réveillon was always celebrated at my paternal grand mother's country home. My grand parents had 14 children and we were all there on Christmas eve, so you can imagine the party! No one was late, no one absent. My grandmother would bake and cook for weeks! I would get to be with all my cousins and uncles and aunts.
The réveillon always started close to midnight, after Christmas mass, and we would drive back to our home in the early morning hours so happy and content and very sleepy too. Then of course, the gathering would happen all over again for Christmas dinner.
By the time my children were born, the réveillon was happening in my own parents house and eventually we started hosting it in our own home.
The family is definitely not as large as back then, but the festivities are just as wonderful and the energy in the air is intoxicating!  This year, my parents will be able to join us once again for the réveillon. I am so looking forward to it.
We are almost ready...
the tree is decorated,

the house has touches of Noël here and there...
some were gifts,

and some were made by me over the years...

the Christmas dishes are out,

the name tags are ready,

the gifts are wrapped,

the apron is hung in the kitchen,

the candles are ready to be lit. (Can you believe that my daughter brought this on the plane from Calgary last year?? That girl is willing to go thru anything to please her mom!)

the wine is chilled and the food is almost ready, and even all of the knitting is done. Pictures of knitted stuff to come after Noël.

and Santa is greeting our guests at the door !
Now, do I have everything, is anything missing, do I have enough? Oh I'm sure we will manage just fine. My son just called to say he was on his way home from southern Ontario, my daughter is hoping bébé O will have a good nap so she can stay up with us a while tonight. Life is good. The traditions are still alive and still bring so much joy to this household.

I hope your holidays sparkle with joy !!

Thursday, December 16, 2010

Another one to check off the list

Another project done and ready for gift giving.
Dear hubby asked for socks very early this fall, hoping he would have them in time for his annual hunting holiday. But I just couldn't get into it, I wasn't in the mood for socks,especially men's socks. So even with his encouragement to knit them in any colour and use any pattern, hunting season came and went without a new pair of socks to call his own.
But I think he will be very happy to see these worsted alpaca yarn socks under the tree on Christmas Eve!
Pattern: from the book Getting Started Knitting Socks (author Ann Budd)
Yarn: Misty Haven Alpaca
Colour: Natural brown

I added a bit of red yarn for the heel, toe and a couple of stripes from leftover yarn.

 Another item to cross off my list. Things are looking up!

Monday, December 13, 2010

Just in time

I completed this wonderful alpaca yarn cowl a few weeks ago but could not find the right buttons. Isn't that often the case?
But last week I found these wooden buttons in the perfect shade.
I sewed them on last night while the wind was howling outside and the snow was accumulating at the front door!!
The cowl is from Alana of Never Not Knitting blog. It's called Shawl Collared Cowl.  It's very thick and with the cowl collar, it fit very high and tight around my neck. Great for any winter storm coming my way.
I used yarn is 100% alpaca from Misty Haven Alpacas. I fell in love with the colour right away. It's a little heavier than what the pattern called for but the pattern could be ajusted easily to accomodate the chunky yarn.

 I also made a pair of matching mittens. They were such a quick knit, completed in two evenings. I could not find a mitten pattern for chunky yarn so I ended up making one up. I really like the feel of chunky yarn, especially when it's alpaca chunky yarn from Misty Haven Alpacas. I really must get more of this chuky stuff!

I even had a chance to try it on today out there in the wonderful winter wonderland.

Keep on knitting!!

Video question

I would love to share youtube videos with you once in awhile. But the problem I'm having is that the video doesn't fit on my blog page because of items I have on the right hand side. Can anyone explain to me what I need to do to reduce the width of the vidoe so that you can see all of it?
Here is an example of what I mean: (great fun song by the way)

Thursday, December 9, 2010

Still at it

Before I get to the knitting...
We have been so busy with our latest litter of Golden retriever puppies that I have not had much chance to come and tell you about my knitting!
Here they are a few weeks ago, nice and quiet!

The pups are growing very fast and most of them are leaving this weekend. They are a lot of work at this point and they require loads of attention, they are people lovers and really crave being with us.
But now they are all over the place and into everything, a lot of fun to watch them as they explore the world around them.

Because of a back problem, I have been off work this week. My back is slowly getting back to normal. For a while, I could not even knit...now that's not good!!

But I have completed another hat for bébé O. This one is based on the Susan Anderson pattern called Go team hat. But I've modified it a whole lot to better suit our cold windy winters.
I've added super wide ties to the ear flaps. They cover her ears, cheeks and chin when they are tied up. 
Did you see what she's wearing on her hands? How can a knitting grandmother let her grand daughter wear a pair of socks as mittens??? I have enough yarn to make a pair of matching mittens. Now I must get that project going really soon!!!

Wednesday, November 24, 2010


Méli-mélo is a french expression meaning a mish mash of things. For example, the french version of the snack mix of Bits and Bites is Méli-mélo.
This post has a bit of everything, hence the name of Méli-mélo as title.

I don't think I've talked about my dogs much. We have Golden retrievers. The best breed there is. Very gentle and people friendly. We actually have a few of them. We are involved in Obedience, Agility and Conformation shows with our dogs. We take them with us everywhere.

Here is Anouk (Tibsen Tiger Lily). She probably feels that she's attached to my hip because she always follows me around...everywhere I go, she's there.

She actually sleeps with her toy under her chin but tonight she still had it in her mouth and fell asleep that way.

Anouk became a Champion very easily. Lots of fun when that works out ! It's a lot of work, time and money to show a dog.

On another post, I'll talk to you about Bjorne and the others.

I've completed one Christmas gift for bébé O. It's Plain vest from Pickles website. It looks like it will fit her with room to grow.  Still looking for the right buttons to add the finishing touch.

I have a matching hat made as well. I'll be back with pics after Christmas.

My Shawl collared cowl from Never Not Knitting is done as well...well, not quite done, since I have buttons left to find and sew on.

I love it. I made it with 100% alpaca hand painted yarn I picked up from Norma from Misty Alpacas. The yarn is bulky and a super fast knit.
The colour is called Autumn Rose, a blend of pinks and golds. So nice and super soft.

And this last picture is for Norma! See what I have on top of our cookstove?

Saturday, November 13, 2010

Back to sewing...

Sewing has always been a favorite passtime of mine. I was sewing my clothes at the age of 12. I was sewing for my mother's and sister's at the age of 15. I loved it! I sewed in the evening after work, on weekends and on holidays. In other words, I sewed all the time. That was back then.

My mother taught me to sew. She was a wonderful and talented sewer. She had lots of patience and lots of skills.

But I've gotten away from sewing in the last 10 years. I mostly sew stuff for the house now, curtains, duvet cover, roman shades, pillows, and such.

Allthough I've given away a lot of fabric from my stash, I still have enough left to make a few things here and there.

I wanted to make something for these. Any idea what it might be?

I read through several tutorials online  to make a needle case but I mostly followed this one.

Black and white outside.
 With yellow and red added on the inside.

 Lots of room for all my needles and other knitting stuff.

 Finally, my needles will all be in one spot and organised.

Even though there is room in this needle case for my double pointed needles, I think I would prefer to make another case for those. I have lots of DPs and I would prefer a smaller case for them. So next time I feel like sewing, I will have a project waiting!

Sunday, October 10, 2010

Giving thanks

This is Thanksgiving weekend in Canada. Allthough I am thankful every single day of my life, today I take the time to write about it.

I am so thankful for all that life has given me. Thankful for my family. Thankful for the wonderful weather we have been having! Thankful for all the simple little pleasures my daily life has been offering me.

Twenty years ago, this fall, I had been diagnosed with breast cancer. The year that followed was just awful. The chemo was shear hell! Even though it has saved my life and I would do it all over again, I still wonder how they can get away with treating humans with those drugs. The radiation followed the chemo and made me that much sicker and weaker. Thanks to the two little sweethearts I had at home, I kept getting up every morning and hoping I was still making their life as normal as possible. My daughter was 7 years old and my son was only 4. Hubby was and still is my rock, my light and soul mate.
Anyone that has gone through severe accident, or trauma, death of someone close or illness will tell you that it changes you completely, it's like hitting a brick wall and making a sharp 90 degree turn. Nothing is the same after. I must say, life is better than it has ever been. I don't think that it's luck, I beleve that life is good if you wish it to be so, if you make it so.

My father is fighting his own cancer battle now. He is strong and brave and has a wonderful attitude. I am thankful for having him as my father.

I leave you with this wonderful fun video taken in the Toronto Eaton center.

Happy Thanksgiving. Be sure to bring light to those that you hold dear. And enjoy the simple pleasures of life every single day.

Twist cable hat

I have not taken the time yet to show you my purchases from the yarn shopping I did at the Knitter's Fair in Kitchener-Waterloo on the weekend of September 12th.

As soon as I got home, I casted on a hat for bébé O with the hemp cashmere cotton yarn I purchased from

Lonely Oak

At the entrance of our driveway, there is a huge rock. There can't be much soil on top of that rock but this beautiful oak tree has decided it would be it's home. Every year, we clean the shrubs and weeds growing around the tree but we don't want to disturbe the roots of the oak too much. This is the only tree growing on top of this rock. A majestic lonely oak tree.

So in it's honour we have chosen to call our future adventure Lonely Oak Alpaca Farm.
We have been dreaming for more than 5 years of being alpaca owners. We have visited a few alpaca farms over the years and each time we come home more eager to get our own. When we bought this property it had no fencing and no barn either. The land is full of rocks and boulders. Holes everywhere makes it very difficult to walk around without fearing breaking a leg or spraining an ankle.

Hubby has worked many many hours to remove as many boulders as possible (he buries them !) to kinda level off the land a bit.

As for a barn, we have decided to convert this big shed behind the house into a shelter for the alpacas that will one day live on our land.

The fencing was to be done this fall, but we are still waiting for the delivery of our posts. If the weather stays beautiful till late fall, hubby might still have time to start digging holes for the posts and at least get that part done before the winter.
I was really hoping to have a few alpacas before next spring but we might have to wait until next summer now.

With my retirement being a few weeks away (16 weeks!), I am really looking forward to this new beginning. It will be a adventure for sure with a huge learning curve.

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

On fire!

This was such a fun knit project. It's nice to knit something quick when you also have long slow projects on the go.
I hand dyed the yellow mohair / wool yarn with oranges and reds, keeping some of the yellow untouched earlier this year.

Mixed it with black 100% wool yarn and knitted this hat in two evenings of movie watching!

Top of hat is very interesting with a petal shape or star shape design. Love it!
I am tempted to knit another one but to change the black designs with elements of this other hat I knitted last year.

Pattern is Fake Isle Hat by Amy King. I used 4 mm needles. Lots of yarn left over for a pair of mitts.

Sunday, September 19, 2010

First birthday

Bébé O is now one year old !

I remember last year when our daughter called us from Calgary to tell us she was on her way to the hospital and we were scrambling to get a flight out of Ontario as soon as possible.

Now, my daughter's little family have moved back to Ontario, very close to home. This little princess has brought so much joy to all of us, we are so grateful to have her in our lives.

The Pinwheel cardigan that I made her fits her well with lots of room to grow. The colours are happy colours and go well with this happy little girl.

This cardi is fairly quick to knit and I decided to continue with the colour changes on the sleeves as well.

I've been thinking of making her a matching hat. I had seen such a hat on someone's website, but I can't find it anymore. I guess I should have wrote it down somewhere when I saw it.