June 30, 2006


Hi there! I’m still here, even if I haven’t been posting for a bit. I have been knitting, but I can’t prove it, because the camera is with Mark in Toronto.

He’s there looking for a place for us for next year; it’s a frustrating and exhausting job, but it’s almost over (we hope!) and he’ll be coming back on Sunday. If we’re lucky, we’ll have a place rented by then… it’s not fun doing this long-distance, and Toronto’s a really big city to run around looking at apartments in.

He’s surviving, but he’s not enjoying himself, apart from the few snatched moments of socialising with friends and family.

So wish us luck, and maybe I’ll be able to report success by the end of the weekend! The movers are coming on July 28th, after all, so it would be great if we had a home for them to bring our stuff to by August 1!

Happy Canada Day, too!

Posted by Aven at 07:34 PM | Comments (6)

June 21, 2006

Happy Solstice!

A tad late (the solstice actually came at 12:26 pm) but happy midsummer to everyone! The sunny weather has finally arrived here, and we had a lovely weekend of exploring the Northumberland shore just north of us (see Mark’s blog for details and pictures), so I’m willing to believe that it’s finally summer!

However, when it comes to baby stuff, I’m still working on warm clothes. Isn’t Tristan looking stylish in his new outfit? (hee hee…)


That would be the moss-stitch jacket from Debbie Bliss’s Baby Style, in some of the Blue Sky Cotton given to me by my friends.


I didn’t have quite enough of it for the pattern as written, so it’s a little more cropped than the designer intended, but I like it. (The colour’s off a bit here — it’s better in the modelled picture above).

And, of course, the Chicken Viking Hat!


After my previous post, several people recommended this pattern to me — but, believe me, it was already on my list! Mark was particularly excited about it… he even found the pattern and sent it to me! He’d seen it a while ago on someone’s blog, and it really entertained him.

Good thing the baby can’t protest about what he/she’s dressed in, eh?

Also finished a while ago is this:


The Hooded Sweater from Debbie Bliss’s Special Knits, also from the Blue Sky Cotton; again, I was off on my yardage estimate (I should have made the smallest size) so I had to trim it in the lilac to make the sleeves long enough. But I think it livens up the grey nicely.

And the baby knitting continues…

Posted by Aven at 07:05 PM | Comments (5)

June 11, 2006

Silly hats

Thanks for all the kind comments about Nellie — she’d be blushing, if she could!

Lately I’ve been churning out hats for the baby; there seems to be a minor industry in patterns for very silly baby hats. Mark was entertained for quite a while by the various online free patterns for fruit hats, animal hats, and even stranger things… he’s been passing on requests for specific ones. They’re great for using up oddball leftovers, and they’re quick and satisfying, so I’m happy.

Here are a few of the ones I’ve finished so far:


This is from Zoe Mellor’s Adorable Knits for Tots.


This pumpkin hat is a special request from Mark, since the baby’s due date is October 25th, so he/she clearly needs a costume for Hallowe’en! Modelled by Tristam, a gift for the baby from a good friend.


But this is Mark’s favourite so far — a viking hat! Modelled (rather unwillingly) by Tigger. This one entertains us both… the horns are too funny.

By the end of this, the baby may have a new hat to wear every day… but why not, right?

Posted by Aven at 04:06 PM | Comments (11)

June 07, 2006

Heeere's Nellie!


Ta da!

Nellie is complete! And, I think, pretty sheeplike overall — especially if your experience of farm animals tends towards the comic strip rather than real life…

Here she is, enjoying the sunshine and the grass (in our brief respite from rain — it’s supposed to come back tonight for another 5 or 6 days):


And here’s that troublesome head, which I think I ended up putting on pretty much as intended, thanks to all the help I got from you guys:


Thanks again — and the baby thanks you, too, I’m sure! The trauma of a headless sheep has been avoided — and a lovely squishy toy has been produced. (Ironically, she’s made entirely of cotton… but at least she’s washable!).

Posted by Aven at 05:51 PM | Comments (12)

June 02, 2006

I'm going to miss this...

While I’ll be happy for many reasons to return to Toronto (that’s the plan for next year, as of this moment — but it’s always possible plans may change! I hope not, however, since I’m really, really tired of uncertainty) I will definitely miss the lovely nature that surrounds us here. I know I’ve already inflicted many pictures of vegetation on you, but I can’t help myself. These are the sights that greeted me when I returned from Toronto (itself very verdant and prettily blooming right now) last weekend:

More apple trees in bloom.



Crabapple blossoms.


Fragrant, beautiful lilacs.


Carpets of forget-me-nots.


Terrifyingly exuberant rhubarb.


And if that doesn’t impress you, this is the expanse of rhubarb we’re dealing with:


Anyone know any good recipes? Savoury OR sweet, I feel I should be living off the stuff!

Posted by Aven at 04:40 PM | Comments (7)

June 01, 2006

Back to work

Last week I was in Toronto for a conference, so I could blame my lack of posting on that — though I’ve been home for 5 days now… anyway, I do have a few things to report, so I’ll get started.

First, I’m thrilled to report that I think I will soon have solved the faceless sheep dilemma, thanks in part to the valuable comments left by you, my lovely readers, but particularly thanks to Kathleen, who braved the horrors of intimate sheep anatomy to give me some wonderful pictures of her daughter’s sheep, clearly made from the same pattern, though store-bought. Check them out here. I haven’t actually got around to using them to finish off my sheep, but I’m confident that with those pictures to guide me, I’ll achieve something sheep-like. What a difference some finished-object pictures make, eh? One almost thinks there might be a lesson in that for pattern publishers…

In other baby-related news, we had our 20-week ultrasound yesterday. The good (wonderful, actually) news is that everything seems fine, the little critter was twisting and turning and making life difficult for the technician, but it warmed my heart. And Mark got a peek at it too. The annoying news (though hardly bad, in the grand scheme of things) is that a) the hospital can’t print out the ultrasound scan, so we couldn’t take anything away with us, and b) they seem reluctant to tell us the sex of the baby, or even whether they can tell from the pictures. The radiologist was frustratingly vague (“Oh, I don’t know whether we’re allowed to tell you that… it’s hard to tell sometimes, you know… um…”) and it seems that the most the hospital will say is that the radiologist will mark the sex on the ultrasound report IF she felt comfortable making a decision (though they don’t actually look for it — it’s only if they happen to notice) and then my doctor (in this case the pre-natal clinic doctor, since I don’t have a family doctor) will tell me next time I see him/her. What really surprised me is that everyone I spoke to at the hospital seemed confused and surprised to be asked about this — I would have though that finding out the baby’s sex would be a major issue for most parents, even if it’s because they don’t want to know.

Anyway, it’s a little annoying not to have found out, or even to know if we can know; while it’s not crucial, of course, we would like to be able, among other things, to put a name to the little one. Given that it’s possible now to find out with non-invasive, low-risk methods that they’re using anyway (i.e. ultrasound) why shouldn’t we know, if the knowledge is available? It seems particularly unfair that a random doctor at the hospital may know, and we don’t. Bah.

Still, the main thing is that the baby appears healthy, so I’ll hold on to that most important fact.

And I am still knitting baby things; right now I’m finishing up a sweater (I hope — I’m getting very close to running out of yarn) which I’ll show you when it’s completed.

Posted by Aven at 12:57 PM | Comments (10)