Posts categorized "Kids"

The Blanket

The simple facts: Emma asked for a hand-knit blanket. I like to knit blankets (they're simple comfort knitting and always fit the recipient) so I started knitting in January. It would be her take-to-university-blanket. Nothing to see here.

The longer story: We decided on a pattern. Chose the yarn. Bought more yarn when I miscalculated how much Eco-Wool I would need (6 skeins in case you're wondering--this blanket weighs more than 2 kg).

I knit on this almost exclusively for six months; panicking a bit when the weather got warmer and wondered if I could get it done on time (there was some target setting--can you tell I'm a project manager?).

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Emma did her things: school, homework, friends, cello, piano, a lead in The Drowsy Chaperone, movie watching, prom, teen stuff. She also chose a university and decided her "what's next". Science (probably majoring in Physics) at Western University.

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She finished high school with honours. I finished the blanket shortly after. The pieces were stitched together. 

Metaphor? Maybe.

Or just how a knitter does things. Stitching beautiful objects that bring warmth and comfort.

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I'm getting teary--which is probably why I haven't pronounced the blanket complete on social media... 

Emma leaves on Sunday. She has her blanket, her determination, her smarts and her sense of adventure. She's ready (mostly). I'm ready (mostly). Time for the next big project.

 


Since I last Blogged

Work work work work work work work work work work work work work work work work work work work work work work work work work work work work work work work work work work work work work work work work work...

Attended lots of year end school things for the kids including Emma's fabulous school dance night:

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And Xander's music night and honour roll night and volunteer recognition event:

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Work work work work work work work work work work work work work work work work work work work work work work work work work work work work work work work work work work work work work work work work work work work work work work work work work work work work work work work work work work work work work work work work work work work work work work work work work work work.  

Then Emma performed in her musical theatre show.  She was Maisy from Suessical (here she is with her besties--she did all their makeup):

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Then more work work work work work work work work work work work work work work work work work work work work work work work work work work work work work work work work work work work work work work work work work work work work work work work work work work until I started to get grumpy.  

I did sneak in some knitting, but sometimes not for days at a time which makes me kinda sad because knitting is a thing that makes me happy and when I'm really busy, it slows me down.

The good news is, on my birthday I unpinned this scarf from the blocking board.  It was a treat for me purchased at the Toronto Knitter's Frolic (after a week of 15 hour days!).  The yarn is from Shirley Brian and it comes in a plastic take out tub.  It's a four ply cotton and at intervals, one thread is swapped out for the next colour giving it the nice striped effect.  I knit the pattern that came with it--Mariner--and it was just detailed enough to keep me awake after all the work work work work work.

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Perfect for summer (I'm on a navy kick so it works with my wardrobe nicely).

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Will work be less crazy this month?  Hopefully.  It's summer and I want to enjoy it.


Sixteen

(Let's pretend this post happened on January 14th.)

Happy Birthday Emma.

Wow. 16.

It seems like the perfect time for your friends to treat you like a princess. I love that you are surrounded by people who love you for the fun, enthusiastic, joyful person that you are.

 
And it was smart of you not to assume the birthday princess role and try to stage a coup d'état at home. You're a great kid who is kind and helpful and knows when to push for things you want and mostly when to lay off.
 
I'm glad you like that rings we got you. The sunshine reminded me of the necklace you made at your 7th birthday when we did the bead party.
 
You wore that necklace for years; we restrung it when the cord broke, changed the sun pendant when it literally wore down to a blob (I'm a little disturbed to think of what it was made of).

 
This ring is a grown up, more permanent version.

I hope this year is amazing for you!
 

 


Their feet grow up so fast

Xander is a growing boy who likes handknit socks.  

2003:

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2008:

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2010:

image from farm5.static.flickr.com

And has a nostalgic mother. (OMG he's so cute!)

Actually Xander is a giant teen who really likes handknits socks and has a mother who is happy to knit for him because he's so appreciative.  Even for a 13 year old who is 5'9" and growing and has size 12 feet and a huge instep.

Non-knitters: This is what motherly love looks like.

Xander noticed his last pair of socks were too small and asked to be next in the sock queue.  I wanted to knit socks and asked him to choose from my stash. He chose Into the Whirled, The 'Verse colourway.

I loved his choice.

I started knitting.  I decided on top down (so I had control over the heel and could lengthen the foot if needed in the future).  I also went with a 2x2 ribbed cuff to work with growing, but still skinny legs.

I thought it was all going so well.  I added an extra inch to the heel flap compared to the last pair I knit for him.  Xander has a HUGE instep and I knew from Kate's wise counsel (and fabulous books) that a bigger heel flap means a bigger gusset and more stitches to decrease at the instep.

I was impressed with myself that I THOUGHT this through and had a PLAN.

Turns out I still think my baby is baby sized:

image from flic.kr

He can't even get his foot in.  Crap.

image from flic.kr

We talked and I said I could rip back to the heel flap and try again or I could keep these for me (or Emma who is eyeing them hungrily) and he could have the next pair.  And if he didn't like anything in my stash we would go and buy something especially for him.

Xander was sad but then made an excellent point: he is growing.  Fast and often.  He doesn't wear socks in the summer.  It would be better to keep these for me and make his next so they would be done when he was ready to wear them.

Smart kid.

And I get some kick-ass socks. (Already on the second one).

image from flic.kr


Go Xanderman!

I now have two kids in high school.

Xander graduated from grade 8.  And he looked sharp doing it.

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Grade 8 grad has turned into quite a THING, especially for the girls and most kids are DRESSED to the hilt.  Xander has grown about 5 inches this year and needed clothes, but is a practical kid who prizes comfort over most things and chose this fantastic ensemble.  It was a jillion degrees in the auditorium, and so being one of the only kids in shorts made him the smartest grad in the room.

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The ceremony was...fine (I'm going to leave it at that--search my twitter if you really need to know).  My son got his certificate and had a night to celebrate with his friends.  This is the time where the kids part ways and go to different high schools so it's good they had a day-long boat cruise in Lake Ontario to play and a ceremony where proud parents can take lots of pictures.

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I'm super proud of you Xanderman--you worked really hard this year and made the honour roll for the first time.  High school will be hard work but will also be lots of fun if you keep being the awesome teen you are now.

 


It's a Hard Knock Life

Permit me to brag about my kid for a moment...

Emma takes her bow cropped

Emma played Miss Hannigan in her performing arts school, The SPACE's, production of Annie this weekend. This is outside of her arts high school and something she's been doing for 3 years (her debut role was as Lumiere in Beauty and the Beast).  The kids range in age from 3 to 15 and the show has everyone in it (little ballet dancing orphans are the cutest!).
 
Emma little girls
 
She was awesome.  
 
She was really reluctant to take on a singing role--she had to sing Little Girls as a solo and the school worked with her and she wowed the audience.  She was honoured with an award for Outstanding Achievement.  I'm so proud of her.
 
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There's a bunch of photos here if you want to see some great shots of the play taken by "Lily's" mom with her awesome telephoto lens.
 
Now we're just glad it's over.  May was a month full of rehearsals for Annie and Emma's high school work in cello and dance.
 
Xander was part of the stage crew for his school's musical too just to up the difficulty of wrangling everyone.  He's off being a Leader-in-Training right now and will graduate from grade 8 next week. I'm afraid that means one more mom-braggy-post is still to come.
 
Then bring on summer, we're all tired.

 


Owls at 14

On January 14th, my baby turned 14.  Champagne birthday.  Full-on teenager. 

Whoa.

She's now taller than me, growing up to be a great person and she's a riot.  

To celebrate she had her two best friends over for movies (Dirty Dancing, Perfect Pitch and Strictly Ballroom), music (from A-ha to Florence & the Machine), boy chat (the cast of The Outsiders and boys in popular culture that I have no idea about) and not-much sleep.

Emma, may your life have lots of moments like these:

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Happy Birthday Em!

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In a nice coincidence, I also finished the sweater I was making for her in the wee hours before her actual birthday.  It wasn't a surprise, but it was still a nice gift.

It's Owls with some modifications.  Emma wanted a loose sweater so I made the 38" size with no waist shaping.  By request, I also made the extra long cuffs with thumbholes.  It's two colours of Debbie Bliss Luxury Donegal Tweed chunky because that's what I had in the stash.  I rather like it.

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My silly teen-model likes it too:

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It still needs to be blocked and Emma decided she wants all the owls to have button eyes. 38 buttons.

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Good thing I love her so much.

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(and the sweater fits me too!)


While I was away

Uh, sorry, I disappeared for a few weeks there.  I was on holiday for the last two weeks of August and really ramped down my time on line.  I think it's good to do that sometimes--disconnect and play.  I wasn't completely off--I still read Twitter and I was never without internet--but I just scaled back.  No checking work email, no looking at tweets throughout the day, no blogging or hanging out online...less of it all.  

Now I'm back to work, the kids are back in school and the laziness of Summer is slowly ramping up to the busy times of Fall.  Looking at the photos from my time off, I can say I'm not ready.

And, I miss attending TIFF.  I think heading out for a crazy number of movies made a nice bridge into Fall. Next year I think I'll take a few days off and see some movies.  I'm writing it down to remind myself!

So what did I do while I was away?  Lots of reading, knitting, hanging out with the kids and a whole lot of unstructured time.  We clean some rooms (big decluttering), I finally painted the basement stairs (I'm not even going to look in the archives to see when they were installed.  It was at least 2 years ago that I primed them) and got to some neglected around the house stuff.  

We also had a mini-family reunion at my cousin's pool (so much fun) and took it easy.

For example: Fan Expo

Emma is turning into quite the fan-girl so jumped at the chance to hang out with her fellow geeky nerds. We all really liked the Lego

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We saw some stars: John Barrowman, Nanna Visitor, Levar Burton and Emma's current favs Spike and Drusilla from Buffy The Vampire Slayer (which she and I are watching for the first time right now)

Each kid got one treat.  Xander scored an awesome square Minecraft Mug and Emma waited patiently in line to meet Juliet Landau (Drusilla).  She was great (we all met her) and Emma was a bit overwhelmed:

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She was better when we met Megan Fahlenbock, the voice of Gwen from Total Drama Island (a show we all LOVE).  She was great to talk to (closer to my age than the characters she does voices for).  

The whole day was busy but fun.  We embrace our nerdiness.

Even though we're total city mice, we also took some time to play country mice too.

Off to the cottage.

There were frogs:

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Swims in two lakes:

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Fishing (we fish in a private lake that seems to be filled with fish--I love it because I always catch a bass with minimal effort)

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Knitting--I finished my first ever pair of socks from my handspun.  I had lots of yarn and I'm full of moxy so I went for knee socks.

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(this is a truer photo of the colour)

I will definitely do knee socks and handspun socks again (I have some superwash on the wheel right now--but haven't spun since we started the kitchen reno).

Everyone had a fun holiday.  We're still wishing it's summer, but also don't mind the coming of Autumn. I've already started a beautiful new Rhinebeck sweater!


Someone loves his new sweater

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Alexander has been asking me to knit him a sweater pretty much since he grew out of this one I made when he was about 2.

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The kid has good taste.  He would pull Alice Starmore's Aran Knitting off the shelf and suggest patterns to me.  Complicated ones.  At 11 he's not a little kid at 5ft 3inches with feet bigger than my size 9.5 shoe size and since I suspect he's not done growing, I wasn't ready to jump into a full on aran sweater.  

So we negotiated.  I went through Ravelry and chose sweaters I was willing to knit and we narrowed it down.  Smart cookie I am, I went with aran to chunky weight yarn so it would be done fast.  He chose this pattern and I chose the Debbie Bliss Donegal Luxury Tweed Chunky (on sale at Elann).  

A month later, a sweater for my baby.

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He loves it.  I love him for loving it.  

The only modifications were to sleeve and overall length.  

Back of sweater

The sweater is a man's small, and I think my gauge was a bit tight.  It fits me (in a sweater girl tight way) so when he outgrows it I will still have it for myself!

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