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!!!