Sunday, June 27, 2010

If at first you don't succeed....

rip it out and knit the holy shit right out of that lace shawl. In some cases, again and again for as long as it takes.

It all started with a small night in with a couple of knitterly types and some wine. One of these types gave me a skein of delicious Mooi as a hostess gift. Knitter guests = most generous and enjoyable.

My other delightful guest suggested I use it to knit one of the shawls from this magical tome, Triangular and Long Shawls by Sigridur Halldortsdottir (translation by Steinunn J. Asgeirsdottir).
I've posted pictures of the Hyrna Herbogar shawl in progress before - I must have started this piece at LEAST 5 or 6 times before I could keep my centre line from wandering off to the left with my G-Series (20 or 8) political views.

On Saturday night while watching the city get galvanized I cast, what I fondly refer to as, the Fucker, off. In true lace magic the Ramen noodle phase charmed me.
The blocking amazed me. What the what?!? It actually looks like lace! STABLE LACE. There didn't seem to be any hidden dropped stitches or uncontrolled yarn overs to be wrangled.The actual shawl bewitches me. This has always been a gift for close and very generous friend of mine. Any new yarn I've acquired in the last two years has been pretty much by her generousity. We've spent hours on the phone affirming politics, parenting and general opinions.

She's a pro level knitter so I knew the level of stick-to-itiveness that I had to demonstrate to finish this dreamy piece would be appreciated. The charm of a birthday gift for a birthday 2 years ago can truly be appreciated by another knitter who has experienced the questionable victory of delivering a birthday gift on the needles.

This is the most beautiful thing I've ever knit. There is a small, very unacceptable, very uncouth part of me that may take it back and knit her a hat.

Friday, June 25, 2010

New project: Robotic Chocolate Butterflies

In case y'all were wondering if I still made anything. Here you go.

Back in early June one of my oldest friends turned 35 and had a birthday blow out at her new condo. She's that sassy smart single copywriter about town living the urban dream. Multi-talented comedienne, actress and now playwright, she's a glamour puss that really brings the sparkle to my normally pragmatic functional perspective.

I love it. So when she asked me to bring cupcakes to her party I had to try something a little out of the ordinary into the world of romantic delicious.

Her very own Army of Chocolate Butterflies.
The wings are carefully crafted using dark belgian chocolate wafers and red candy melting wafers. I melted the dark chocolate and made the outline then used the red to fill them in, I used toothpicks to create the detailing on each wing before the chocolate had set.

Yes, I drank. I also, took a page from the popcorn incident and started making the wings a week in advance.
Jason's folks had come to town to babysit and visit and were superhero's! Debbie made the most amazing vanilla cupcakes - light, fluffy and delicate. The perfect resting place for what I was, by the end, calling the bastard butterflies.

Here's a close up, I'd like to draw attention to the worst part of the decorating, the individually made butterfly antennae - maddeningly delicate. It's worth mentioning that by the time we were adding the antennae we were late for the party and Fenner was absolutely freaking out that she need one to eat RIGHT NOW.

Even Grandpa could not distract her from the mission of eating one. Let's take moment of silence for the fallen brother.
My army waiting for their computer chips and antenna. I love love love the way the wings turned out. It was worth the time consumption.
This second foray into OCD cupcake decorating for people who have no experience has been brought to you by Hello, Cupcake. I look forward to the day that I'm comfortable enough with some of these ideas that I can execute my own creative ideas.

Monday, June 21, 2010

What do you get when...

you have 24 balls of Noro in 4 different colourways, the wedding of couple who love DIY and a limited budget.

Why, embark on a Lizard Ridge extravaganza of course! Those of you still with me lo these long years might remember the first time I took this amazing blanket on. I still love it. I won't be knitting this c*cks*cking blanket again but I'm still in love with the finished product.

I started it 6 weeks before the wedding and finished in 3 days after the big day. I was two thirds finished the final strip when we left Toronto with the first three strips blocked and ready to be sewn. I was committed to being done the knitting by the time we landed in Victoria.
OCD goal oriented behaviour can only end in an awkward bathroom encounter. Not to equate my knitting ambition with any untoward behaviour by republican leaders, I'm just got awkward.

Hygiene be damned, I gave that strip a good bath in our hotel room when it was done. Here's the business shot of the strips. Instead of doing each square with a different colourway, I picked four colourways and sewed the strips together.
I had the whole thing sewn together by the rehearsal night dinner and was ready to smoke through the crocheted border when I realized that: a) the circumference of this blanket is very long and b) Denny did the border on my first Lizard, thus allowing me to live in ignorant bliss for 3 years longer and c) booze and wedding parties do not enhance focus nor stick-to-itiveness whatsoever.

I finished the border 3 days later chilling out on MacKenzie Beach and drinking a civil glass of club soda. I'm still fondling the memories of my vacation....yeah, I said fondling. It was really that good.
This was the view from our cottage. Fondle was an understatement, I may just have teabagged my own vacation memories.

Here's a Lizard posing strategically lounging on the driftwood. I picked four colourways that inspired images in my mind: Sunrise, Sandy Beaches, Oceans and Sunsets. Am ecstatic with how well Noro served my mind's eye.
Happily, not as ecstatic as my sister and my new amazing brother were. I'd have an amazing picture of the two of them snuggling under it but what with being newlyweds and all, I'm not sure I want that picture.

Considering that Liz has cornered the market on my families total quotient of discretion, she is, at this minute writhing with mortification at the fact I have referred to tea bagging, fondling and her sex life all on a web site. I'd be sorry except she'd be mortified if I mentioned chaste public kisses as well.

Hey Pat and Liz - you see what I did there??? Inferred that you guys HAVE SEX on a public forum. YOW!!

Sunday, June 20, 2010

Happy Father's Day

Our Father's Day plans got derailed by an unpleasant stomach bug so in lieu of a picnic and fun at Riverdale Farm Jason did the grocery shopping, childcare and made me sleep. If we're lucky he won't get the stomach flu for Father's Day.
Suffice to say, he is a better father and husband that I could have dreamed for. The perfect foil for my hijinks and balance to my life. He has endless energy for Fenner and an imagination that brings her on adventures that expand her horizons beyond the day to day.

Talking stuffed animals, stories and made up games are his domaines and Fenner loves them dearly. The dude's not afraid of a nasty diaper, bucket of vomit, cleaning or cooking either. Yup, the whole package.
You're the best Hon!

Aren't we lucky to have had a couple of wicked awesome templates to follow as well?

Thanks Steve for setting Jason up so well.

Dad, thanks for setting me up with high expectations of Fathers - Jason's doing a magnificent job at fulfilling them.

Thursday, June 17, 2010

The best of family parties

At this stage in my family's evolution there are two reasons that the whole clan can justify the cost of a family party. Weddings and funerals. Luckily, this summer we had a wedding.

For the purposes of this post we will say nothing of wedding scandals, nudity or post wedding pier parties, we'll save those for the fuuuuuuuuuuuuuuture.

Meet Pat and Liz. Liz is the youngest of my siblings by at least 5 years. My baby sister, blessed with scientific curiousity about the natural world around us and the charm and social skills of an arts student.
These were Liz's wedding shoes in the park outside of the Shaw Ocean Discovery Centre.

The whole clan, cleans up nicely and this pic give a great view to the storm that was threatening us by the end - never did come though - the weather was amazing.

The bridesmaids and maids of honour. Meredith (the tall elegant woman) did an amazing job at ensuring Liz had all the necessities a bride could want including, snacks, trashy magazines (for when the hair was getting done), a pashmina, pair of comfy flip flops and safety pins. She is a brilliant woman.
Liz refused to select nieces and nephews for the job of bearing rings and flowers - and so, the herd of children heralded the arrival of the bride and groom.

Claire and Fenner are best of friends and Claire kept Fenner on the straight and narrow.
That kid kills me.

Sunday, June 13, 2010


Dear Charlotte,

Thank you for letting us use your camera so that I can photoblog our vacation. How happy were we on that beach?
Here is a taste of some of the delicious pictures we took and that Charlotte took hours to send me.

Renaissance Woman on Long Beach.

Tidal Pool: How many sea anenomes and star fish can you see outside of your cottage?

There are knitting adventures, wedding stories, bizarre stories and pictures galore. They will all be yours this week in 3 easy installments of my focus.

Patience my pretties.

Love Jen

PS: Charlotte if you think I'm going to post the pics J and I took while drinking too much you're crazy!

Friday, June 04, 2010


Function: noun
1 : the annual recurrence of a date marking a notable event; broadly : a date that follows such an event by a specified period of time measured in units other than years
2 : the celebration of an anniversary

Yesterday marked the 1 year anniversary of a commitment someone close to my heart engaged in. This commitment was to and for herself and to no one else. I believe completely that this commitment not only saved her life but has had a fundamental impact on the lives of virtually everyone I hold dear.

We celebrated this anniversary as a birthday should be celebrated. Surrounded by all of the most important people to her life. Her rocks, her anchors, the beacons of light that she follows in a storm. Many of whom I've never met. It was a great honour to be among these people who love and keep her in a way she needs.

Time and time again she was described as a woman who is unstoppable, inspirational and, for one friend - her name became a verb. She has become: A Woman of Action

She exchanged a substantial part of her life to participate in the lives of everyone around her and in her own life. We have all been changed.

I love you.