Saturday, March 19, 2011

Baby presents

This week, I experienced the health care system of the region after a low back pain left me unable to do anything but cry. Lessons learned:
  1. Walk-in clinics here require that you already are a patient of this clinic. 
  2. Hospital emergency means walk-in clinic. 
  3. Chiropractic is very well seen by the medical staff here: as soon as I told the sorting nurse that I had chiro treatments that didn't help, she answered that then it was most likely an infection, and she was right.
I quite liked my emergency experience, all together, it was was less stressful than in Montreal, where you have to wait much longer because of ambulances coming in. I didn't see any in the 6 hours I spent in the hospital. People also looked less tired. The other thing that was amazing is that I was able to take an appointment for a scan for MONDAY. I was there on Friday, and I have an appointment for MONDAY. 2 days later. in the public system. WOW.
On the crafty side of things, I am happy to report that I knitted something and finished it in a little bit more than a week with minimal help from my teacher/mentor! (Of course, since that, I knitted 2 rows of my never-ending cardigan and instantly made a mistake that I cannot fix by myself...).

I have a very nice colleague at work, the kind of person that everybody absolutely adores right away when you meet her. She is expecting, and only became cuter with her belly.

I decided that that would be a perfect opportunity to learn how to knit a fancy pattern that has been in my family for a few generations now. My grand-mother knitted the kit (a cardigan, with a hat and little booties) for her daughters when they were expecting their first child (unfortunately, she passed away before my own mother became pregnant), and my mother took over after her death, knitting "the kit" for her nieces and whoever has been expecting their first born.

you can see is has been used over the years....

 I had my dad (82 year old computer fanatic) scan and email me the pattern. When my parents came over in January, my mother started to show me how to knit the pattern (and taught me a bunch of French knitting terms at the same time!) and even did a few rows of it so I would be well started.

learning with my mum

It is a nice lacy kit, and I tried to do it, but made a mega mistake that I just could not fix without restarting everything. Meanwhile, the baby is coming soon....

So, I took a deep breath (best advice from my teacher/mentor Elizabeth) and decided to do something else. I had already identified several baby patterns I really liked on Ravelry, in case I ever needed them (not for myself!), so 2 weeks ago, after I realised I would not be able to make the whole kit on time, I went to check what my other options were. I found a very cute kimono pattern that I could knit with the left over yarn of the Endre Baba's blanket. I already knew the yarn was baby proof, and I really, really liked the colours we had chosen...So, it took me about 10 days, a few advises from Elizabeth, and here it is:

I like the idea of a piece that can be worn any time, as opposed to being for special occasion. I can totally see Amy's baby wearing this with a little jeans and a white t-shirt. It's going to be very comfortable, and easy to put on.

It was a very, very easy pattern to knit, but yet, it has details that makes it very pretty, such as the lacy collar here. 

And Amy is part Japanese, which makes it even more meaningful. 

I really liked this patterns, even if most of it is made of stockinette stitch, I was able to learn new stitches for the lace part (ssp) and a few new techniques for the sleeves, the cords, and the binding off. I would suggest it to any new knitter! ( I also really liked that I was able to see the result of it really quickly!).

As I said, Amy is the type of person that everybody loves, so when one of her old friend contacted one of us at work to ask us if we wanted to contribute to a quilt, most of us answered positively. The theme was : things that fly. I didn't see the finished product, because I could not make it to the shower (the joy of living 150 km away from Montreal...) but here was my square:

Sorry, very bad image of it taken with my iPod right before I mailed it to Montreal, because I keep forgetting to take pictures of things I make...That was actually the 2nd square I made, because the first one bled...I used embroidery tread that I bought several years ago in Hungary, and some colours were not stable. I bought new tread and redid the square at the speed of the light. The pattern comes from an image I found on internet on a blog, I modified it and embroidered it, instead of doing an appliqué. (I have no idea how to do appliqué, and had no time to learn how for this, but I am keeping the image for when I learn, because I really like it!). 

Meanwhile, I also started taking a quilting class with the Farmers' Circle. We are actually going away for 2 days in May to a camp where we will make something using the stain glass style. I'll be happy if I can just learn how to sew a little more properly.

have a great weekend!

Saturday, March 12, 2011


I've been waiting for our new computer to arrive to write more, but it is late, so if I keep waiting, I will never ever write again.
And I wanted to say that:
I finished something!
Yes, I knitted something, and finished it, and it was nice enough that I could even give it out as a present (which hurt my heart, but only for a second).

It is the beautiful Fisherman's wife beret, made with Lana Grande yarn from Cascade (wonderful yarn that an be knitted and unknitted countless times...)

I learned a lot while knitting this hat:
  1. My "knitting maths" improved (knit 2 together + yarn over = same number of stiches)
  2. You might still end up with a wearable piece even if you do not follow the pattern perfectly. However, you should always have experts around to reassure you about that. 
  3. Mistakes are not so terrible, as long as you remember to breath when stressed (thanks Elizabeth for regularly reminding me)
  4. I love markers, and cannot knit without them
  5. Unknitting parts to fix a mistake is difficult in a lacy pattern
  6. I'm really not at a point yet where I can knit and talk at the same time
  7. I can finish things!!! (That's really the most important lesson learned !!!)
I started to knit a 2nd one for myself, and one of my friend asked me to knit her one as well. I should be an expert by the time I finish that one!

Meanwhile, I'm also working on a baby piece for a colleague who is expecting.That patterm, so far, has been very easy and pleasant to knit, and helped me learn several new things. My man is away to school today (I am a grad studies widow) so I hope to be able to finish it today - more in the next post!

Have a good weekend!