Wednesday, November 30, 2005

What, me worry?

So, there's been a tremendous lack of progress on the doll making front. I could make excuses (and they're all legit): both Ruby and I are still sick and not sleeping well, I've got a stack of Xmas cards to get out, we're throwing a holiday party and I have to make cookies, I'm out of home-made baby food and have to spend a couple of nights doing that... all in all, the dolls aren't looking like they're going to get made any time soon. I have completed the Lauren doll (without stuffing or details), but I can't see myself moving on to her husband Scott until next week. Daniella and Erin will come after that. And then I still have to do the details and final construction of all six dolls.

But it's not all panic and worry on my end. Leanne of Momcast fame and her husband Sean are coming up from Hamilton today with their son Kieran to pay a visit. I haven't seen them since their wedding in the summer, so it'll be good. Now if that Ruby would only take a nap...

Friday, November 25, 2005

Clapotis? Clap For Me!

Since this blog is pretty new and thus far completely free of FO pics, I thought I'd post a shot of the only major thing I've completed in the past 10 months... the much fawned over Clapotis. I started my Clappy back in June and finally finished it about a month ago -- conveniently, shortly after Miss Ruby learned how to go to sleep at 8 p.m. rather than 11. Here's a picture of the final product, with R using it to play peek-a-boo.

The yarn I used was Estelle 100% silk, as recommended and packaged by Hayley at Knitomatic. I bought it because she'd calculated the perfect amount for the Clapotis, and also because it was waaay on sale. I must say, I was skeptical about the raw silk -- it doesn't knit up very evenly and I was afraid that the nubby-ness would look a little on the hippie side. Plus, it wasn't that fun to knit with. In the end though, it turned out lovely and rather soft. If I knit the Clapotis again (which I may -- it's a long knit but I do so enjoy those drop stitches) I'll probably go for something warmer and softer and I think I'd also choose a variegated yarn to make it more interesting (I love watching the patterns that form. It's mesmerizing).

No real update on the dolls for now. I've moved on to Lauren and other kinds of yarn in my stash. It's been a slow go. Let's just say I've learned a lot about gauge in the last couple of days.

Tuesday, November 22, 2005

Comrade Ruby

I figured it was time to post another gratuitous Ruby picture for her legions of fans. Here's the Rubester trying to enjoy the Santa Claus parade on Sunday, yet not really knowing what's going on. I think she looks like a Russian leader from the '50s.

Monday, November 21, 2005

Man and wife

I didn't get much doll knitting done over the weekend -- the whole family has been feeling a bit under the weather and then we took Ruby to the Santa Claus parade. On top of that, it's been slow going because I've been too lazy to make adjustments to the dolls before I just start knitting, so I've had to frog a fair bit to get the dolls looking like their intended recipients. What you see here is the nearly finished Brad, awaiting to be stuffed and embroidered and what I thought was the nearly finished Joanne.

But don't her legs look too short? Well, they are. When I took another look at the original Joan Jett pattern, I realized I'd missed about 10 rows (to be fair, it's a pretty muddy pattern, since the three dolls in the book are pretty drastically different). Also, since I cracked open a fresh skein of blue Brown Sheep Nature Spun to make Brad's jeans, I figured I could spare Jo from having to wear self-striping red heart pants. So, tonight I finish the legs. And then I go to bed early. I swear.

Friday, November 18, 2005


Just the other day I was asking Leena what new moms do when they're really sick. Well, this week Ruby and I found out. Ruby was under the weather on Tuesday -- still not sure exactly what was wrong, but she had a low-grade fever, stuffy nose and just wanted to sleep and sleep all day (though, next to me, not in her crib). By Wednesday she was better, but yesterday I came down with a cold/flu kind of thing that knocked me out. Aaron wasn't able to come home from work, so I just lay on the floor while she did her best to play on her own.

The bad part came during the night when Ruby, who I guess was feeling ignored during the day, woke up every two hours, foiling my plan to go to bed at 9 p.m. Things were complicated when I came into the living room after putting her down after her 10 p.m. wake-up and I saw a mouse running across the floor. Now, I'm completely rodent-phobic, so that kept me up for at least another hour, giving me only 60 minutes of sleep until Ruby's midnight wake-up. Thankfully Aaron stayed home from work this morning and I got to sleep in.

Needless to say, I didn't get any knitting done over the past couple days. I'm starting to feel the pressure and it's freaking me out.

Wednesday, November 16, 2005

Do do that voodoo

So, as previously explained, I'm a new homeowner and a new parent, so I have zero dollars for xmas gifts this year. Regardless of my cash flow I like to handmake as many things as I can, but there's no way I could shell out for luxe yarns to make scarves and hats this year. And I have too much pride to make clothing items out of Red Heart or other non-yummy acrylic fibres. So, I decided to try my hand at a few dolls.

What you see here is my friend Joanne, or the beginnings of a voodoo-like Joanne doll. I'm using the Joan Jett doll from Stitch 'n' Bitch nation as a template, tweaking as I go to personalize. It's been a bit hit and miss, since I'm using whatever scraps I can dig out of my stash. Jo's head and arms are made out of Cascade 220 (leftover from a bag I made), her body is Lamb's Pride worsted and her legs are a bit of dreaded acrylic that I picked up early in my knitting career. I'm purposely not going for perfection here, trying to go for a folk art kind of quality.

I'm moving on to Jo's husband Brad now (using the Joey Ramone doll as a template) who had a front and back body and a pair of arms. Next up will be my friends Lauren and Scott, then Aaron's sister Daniella and her girlfriend Erin. I think I'll stuff them and embroider the hair and faces all in one go. After that, I'll have to think of other things for family members like my sister-in-law Brandi, who would not appreciate the kitsch factor of a doll effigy.

Tuesday, November 15, 2005

Dig your own hole

So, I haven't been doing very much on the knitting front the last couple of days. We had a few lovely house guests last week -- our friend Mark (who makes amazing music under the name Woodpigeon -- please look him up) was here for a few days to hang out with us and get to know Ruby. Then Aaron's mum, Leena, flew in from Calgary to spend some time with her granddaughter. As if that wasn't busy enough, when I went downstairs to take our guest towels out of the wash before Leena arrived last Wednesday, I noticed a bad smell. At the bottom of the stairs I could see a mess and I immediately thought that an animal had gotten into the house and left turds around. When I turned on the light, I realized that those weren't animal turds... they were my own (and Aaron's, I suppose). Our sewer had backed up.

Now, I won't go into the details, but one plumber came by the next day and basically swindled me out of about $500 (again, I won't get into the details -- they're fairly boring and really upsetting) and then quoted me $6,000 to repair the problem. After some searching (and much swearing), Aaron found a much more honest plumbing company who quoted us between $2,000 and $4,000, which seemed at least a little more manageable. The next day a couple of guys had dug a seven foot deep hole in our front yard and replaced the pipe, which was completely crumbled and hadn't been touched for 100 years. The hole has now been neatly covered and they figure we can probably squeeze about $1500 out of the city to cover some of the costs.

Thankfully, Ruby has enough Santas in her life (Leena already filled our home with new toys on her visit) so our financial ruin probably won't destroy our Christmas. Aaron and I are sticking to under $20 for each other, because we're considering our house our gift to each other this year (Merry Christmas, baby -- I got you a $4,000 sewer pipe!). As for everyone else, I still haven't figured out what to get for our family and I'm trying to make stuff for our friends out of stashed yarn. I'll post some pics and details tomorrow.

Monday, November 14, 2005

I say hello

Well, after much deliberating and a little inspiration from my friend Sam, I have decided to go ahead and join the growing army of blog people. I'm not entirely sure what will end up here -- probably lots of knitting fodder (Sam swears that her production rate has gone through the roof thanks to the pressure of her blog) and a lot of talk of my darling daughter, Ruby. That's pretty much all that takes up my life these days (and, um, a little too much TV), but hopefully that will change as beautiful Ruby grows older and more independent. Right?