December 31, 2005

Fast away the old year passes...

What with one thing and another, I didn’t actually get alot of knitting done over Christmas. I finished up the last sleeve of Hervor, washed, and blocked it just before I went back to Ottawa. I left it on the foam mattress in the spare room… where Tigger was enjoying sleeping on the wet wool. Unfortunately, the next thing I heard about it was Mark telling me that Tigger had quite clearly peed all over all the pieces. The mattress was ruined, and there was much doubt about whether the sweater could be rescued. We only left him alone for 2.5 days… nothing else was touched, just my sweater. Clearly malicious.

When I got home, I put the pieces through three washes — fortunately the Briggs and Little yarn is tough stuff, and stood up to the washing machine with little effect. By the third washing even the most discriminating noses among us couldn’t catch a whiff of anything bad — so I’ve decided to declare conditional rehabilitation and continue with putting the sweater together. I may dunk the whole thing one more time when it’s done, just to be sure.

Here’s Hervor, still in pieces, but with the shoulders attached and the neckband added:

hervorpieces.jpg

I’ve stalled a little on putting in the sleeves — it seems to require more attention than I can give it at the moment.

In the meantime, for mindless knitting, I’ve been working on socks for mark:

tigandsocks.jpg

Don’t worry, I’m keeping a close watch on Tigger around the knitting from now on…

These are made from Lett Lopi — and before you say it, I know that they won’t last very long, and will be horribly scratchy. But Mark wanted socks to match his wool sweaters, so these will be companions for this and this. I knit all the socks up to the ankle (good travel knitting) and now I’m adding the bands to them:

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This is the pattern that’s at the cuffs of the sweaters. They should look pretty nice, for as long as they last.

And now let me wish everyone a very happy, peaceful, and healthy new year. This past year has been very eventful for us, in both good and bad ways — this fall in particular has been a little rough. But I’m looking forward to finding out what’s coming in the new year, and to sharing it with all of you. Thanks for being here!

Posted by Aven at 05:08 PM | Comments (6)

December 28, 2005

Post-Holiday Catch Up

Hi everyone! Sorry I was gone for a while — things got a little crazy, with going back to Ottawa for the memorial service, and then driving back to Sackville with my parents, and then Christmas. But we had a truly lovely Christmas here, in spite of the bittersweet moments of remembering Nancy and the many ways in which she was important to our lives. My parents and my sister were here, and we had tonnes of snow and lots (and lots!) of food, and a warm house and family traditions and relaxed couch-sitting and board games and everything that makes the holiday good. My parents have just driven back to Ottawa and we’re settling back into our non-holiday life — easing ourselves back into work.

Before I get back into knitting reports (I didn’t do a huge amount, but there are things to discuss — next entry!) I do want to show some pictures of our Christmas cake, the one I showed in the previous entry. We did indeed ice it, and my sister modelled the most amazing scene for the top of the cake, all in marzipan and food colouring:

xmascake.jpg

Here’s a better shot of the figures:

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For anyone who’s confused (and why would you be?) that’s Tigger, on snowshoes, stalking a cardinal. Why snowshoes? Because Mark kept saying that Tigger needed snowshoes to go outside in the deep snow, and my sister apparently listens to Mark… so there they are!

Here’s what it looks like once it was sliced into — and if I do say so myself, it’s darn good cake. Note the marzipan layer under the royal icing.

xmascakesliced.jpg

Some things change, some things continue. It’s the way the world goes, whatever we might want. I’m very thankful for all that I have had in my life, and all that I have now. Happy holidays to all, and may there be wonderful things waiting in the new year.

Posted by Aven at 10:23 PM | Comments (4)

December 10, 2005

Thank you

Thank you so much for the condolences. It really meant alot to me to know you were thinking of me, especially since I’m so far away from my family right now.

Last weekend I phoned Nanny, just a few days before she died, to ask her questions about Christmas cake. I was remembering the wonderful decorated cakes she used to make when I was a child, and the trinkets and coins she used to hide in them. I wanted to ask her how she did the decorations and what she put in the cake, since we were making our Christmas cake and wanted to do the same. We chatted about what she used to do, and what I remembered, and she seemed happy that I was continuing some of the things she had done. I’m very glad we had that conversation, and I hope when I ice this cake:

chirstmascake.jpg

I can try to put into it some of the loving care Nanny always put into everything she made.

Nancy didn’t like having her picture taken very much, but I seem to have managed to take a few nice ones of her over the last year or two. This was taken at my father’s 60th birthday party this past July. I hope it conveys something of what a stylish, warm, loving, energetic, witty, intelligent, considerate, meticulous, principled, interested and interesting person she was — though I know no picture could come close.

nancy.jpg

Posted by Aven at 12:31 PM | Comments (8)

December 07, 2005

Sad news

Hi everyone,

I’ve just received news that my grandmother, my father’s mother, died last night in her sleep. She was 82, but she’s always been very healthy and active, and it was completely unexpected. She was much beloved and will be very greatly missed. I know a few of my friends who read this have met her, and if you wanted to you could email me and I’ll let you know when the memorial service will be; sometime next week, I think. I don’t know how often I’ll be posting here in the next little while; we’ll probably be heading back to Ottawa soon, though we do have exams to deal with here.

Goodbye, Nanny. I love you.

Posted by Aven at 04:20 PM | Comments (28)

December 04, 2005

Hervor update

Finally, a knitting picture! I’ve finished the back and front of Hervor, and am working on the first sleeve. Here’s the front:

hervorfront.jpg

The colour isn’t perfect, but it’s hard to get this tweedy brown right.

I’m not really doing any Christmas knitting this year (sorry, relatives, if you were hoping for something!) so I should be able to get this sweater finished before Christmas. And then I have socks for Mark, and slippers for me, and Mark’s Gansey, and socks for me, and… well, suffice it to say I’ve got enough projects lined up to keep me busy for a while.

While I was out taking the picture of Hervor, I took a few of the apple orchard on the side of our house. It’s very bare, since all the leaves are long gone, but I think it has a certain stark beauty, so I’m posting the pictures here. Enjoy!

orchard1.jpg

orchard2.jpg

orchard3.jpg

Posted by Aven at 01:19 PM | Comments (5)