30 While I’m 30 – or 31

First things first – I didn’t finish my list.  Is anyone surprised really?  I doubt it.

I did okay. Probably better than I thought I would truth be told.

  1. Take Gordon for 30 walks – little Gordon and I didn’t make it to 30.  We both blame Mother Nature.  Snow in late April?! Come on! What we did do is get back to a daily walk schedule.  Puppy is happy and so am I.
  2. 1 week moratorium on Starbucks I made it more than 1 week, 10 days in fact… but then I had training.  And turning 1 week into 3 all went to hell.
  3. 2 week moratorium on Starbucks – HA! The Boy and I agreed that this really isn’t the worst vice.  I had one yesterday for my free birthday drink… it wasn’t very good.  Whenever that happens I think I should just cut it out for good… but then the 2 o’clock sleepies kick in and I’m screwed.  Meh.
  4. Finish the ottoman
  5. Make a jewelry solution – I have the solution AND I have actually purchased part of the materials…  I still have not made it.
  6. Unpack my backpack (the last “real” box from our move) – the backpack is full of jewelry… see #5.
  7. Organize purses/purge for easier rotation
  8. Build a desk – HA! It might be changing to build a sewing table… we’ll see!
  9. Clean/organize office – Everyone needs a disaster room right?
  10. Take wedding dress to be cleaned
  11. Update resume – there are some jobs that have been posted, so this actually is going to happen this weekend.
  12. Take a long walk on the Tom Taylor Trail with my camera – Didn’t take the camera but we did go on a birthday walk.  It’s a lovely trail and we’ll definitely be back.
  13. Organize photos on new computer
  14. Frame canvases from Sista I’m picking them up from the framer today – I’ll post a picture when we hang them this weekend. They definitely deserve their own post.
  15. Decorate bathroom
  16. Go to a spin class – still thinking about it.
  17. Set up a regular RRSP contribution plan – I’m pretty sure this makes me an adult.
  18. Have Kristyn, John and Logan for dinner – or bring dinner to them – We split dinner and had it at Kristyn and John’s so that little Logan could go to bed.  Turns out he’s not interested in missing the party no matter where he is – so everyone had a great night! :)
  19. Organize knitting patterns
  20. Finish Tanis sweater
  21. Finish cowl
  22. Finish baby girl sweater
  23. Stencil bedroom
  24. Clean hall closet
  25. Surprise The Boy with a present
  26. Clean and shelf paper linen closet
  27. Vacuum and clean both cars – What is it that they say about good intentions?
  28. Plan a front garden
  29. Get kitchen table and chairs
  30. Make cupcakes – just because.

13/30… that’s not great but not bad.  I’m thinking about the year ahead and contemplating another list.  I like lists.  They ground me.  I never get through them, mostly because I move on to a new list before the first one is done.  Alas earwax.

As for the knitting on the list – I haven’t finished what I wanted to… because in my head those things are done so I have moved on to other things (are you seeing the theme).  But I did finish a pair of converse boots for a baby shower I went to recently.  They might have been shown up by a GORGEOUS stuffed hand knit elephant that was opened shortly afterward – but I still think they’re cute.

If you’re a knitter and looking for an easy baby gift I highly recommend them.  If you’re not a knitter you should either become one or befriend one and sweet talk them into making them for you.  I suggest flowers or chocolate…. or yarn, yarn would definitely work.

Yes I did take this picture while wrapping the gift in the car 2 minutes before going into the party.  What's your point

And finally, the Boy restrained himself from eating 1/4 of an ice cream cake that was left over in one sitting and instead had a normal size piece on Monday night and saved a piece for each of us for my birthday.  He gave it to me and said “This is better than any birthday gift I could ever give you.  I saved you some cake. That’s love because it was REALLY hard not to eat it.” So thanks buddy.  You’re right… that is true love.

30 While I’m 30

My 101 in 1001 list deadline is nearly here and I can safely say – I’m not going to make it.

 

I saw this image on Pinterest the other day,  I liked it so much I sent it to the Boy because it reminded me of us and how we’ll often reflect back and think – WOW – look how different everything is now.

That is funny

And I think it applies to the 1001 part of the list.  Sure some of those things I really wanted to do, and some of them were silly nothing things – is my life really any different because I haven’t completed a colouring book?  And of course there are other things on that list that I knew I wouldn’t get to – learning French, learning French enough to actually converse in it. 

But there’s another aspect to it that I didn’t really consider when I set out on my list – my priorities are completely different.  I don’t want to spend my time learning French right now.  It’s not that I don’t have time, or couldn’t do it.  I can – I just don’t want to.  I’d rather cuddle with my puppy or knit.  When my 1001 days are up, and I look back to 1001 days ago, everything will have changed and I’ll have done LOTS of things that I never even thought of putting on a list.  I got married, I bought a house, I got a new job, I increased my income, I joined a gym and actually stuck with it, I learned all kinds of new things, I maintained friendships and created new ones. Yes, some of those things were on my list – but I generally didn’t do them because they were on my list.  I did them because I wanted to, or because the timing was right.

And I’m okay with that.

So what I took from the 101 in 1001 challenge is this – A. it’s really hard.  B. the long timeline is helpful in some ways but in others it doesn’t keep your list top-of-mind or particularly relevant. C. Items on the list really should be measurable and one-offs are best.

I’m still going to see what I can check off in the next few weeks, but I’ve also moved on to a list that I think will work better for me.

30 While I’m 30.

Thirty things that are on my weekly to-do list that generally get pushed to next week, but are actually things I want to do, and are things that I can do.

I’ll be 31 in 2 months – and 30 has generally been pretty kick ass. I thought I would use my birthday as a tangible and realistic deadline to cross a few things off the list.  Nothing major.  No grand ridiculous plans, just a nice succinct list of things that I want to do/finish.

Here we go:
  1. Take Gordon for 30 walks
  2. 1 week moratorium on Starbucks
  3. 2 week moratorium on Starbucks
  4. Finish the ottoman
  5. Make a jewelry solution
  6. Unpack my backpack (the last “real” box from our move)
  7. Organize purses/purge for easier rotation
  8. Build a desk
  9. Clean/organize office
  10. Take wedding dress to be cleaned
  11. Update resume
  12. Take a long walk on the Tom Taylor Trail with my camera
  13. Organize photos on new computer
  14. Frame canvases from Lisa
  15. Decorate bathroom
  16. Go to a spin class
  17. Set up a regular RRSP contribution plan
  18. Have Kristyn, John and Logan for dinner – or bring dinner to them
  19. Organize knitting patterns
  20. Finish Tanis sweater
  21. Finish cowl
  22. Finish baby girl sweater
  23. Stencil bedroom
  24. Clean hall closet
  25. Surprise Dan with a present
  26. Clean and shelf paper linen closet
  27. Vacuum and clean both cars
  28. Plan a front garden
  29. Get kitchen table and chairs
  30. Make cupcakes – just because.

Will I do another 101 in 1001? I don’t know – maybe.  I guess I’ll see how 30 While I’m 30 goes and decide from there.

Let me know – What’s on your endless “to do” list??

 

The littlest Gramps

See this little man?

 Image

He just (well not just, like 2 months ago) turned 1.

I decided I would knit for all our little people for their birthdays.  This was a decision to try and save my Christmas knitting sanity – why set myself up to frantically knit small people sweaters for Christmas when I can spread the knitting throughout the year?!  It was a brilliant plan especially since I ended up going to the other extreme with Christmas knitting and not knitting a single gift. I know. Shocking.

But I digress, back to this face.

 Image

He turned 1 in November, and his mom may have mentioned something about him needing a new toque.  It seems he had long out grown the infant toque I knit for him and he definitely needed to maintain his status as the coolest baby in daycare.

Hunter Toque  

Of course, I couldn’t just knit him a toque. So I knit a set.  Matching trim to pompom the Gramps sweater and Hunter toque are too cute if I do say so myself.

 Gramps Sweater

The best part? Both are made with Comfort yarn which I love for littles because it’s chunky size knits up super quick and the acrylic blend makes it soft and completely laundry safe. Washing machine and dryer this baby – you will not hurt it.

 Happy Birthday Little Man!

Love the elbow patches and big collar – this little guy is a true sophisticate.

Love the Collar and the elbow patches!

 

Obsessive Knitting

I’ve had a little unscheduled hiatus from knitting. It wasn’t planned, I just found myself exhausted after work and more interested in cuddling a small puppy face who was more interested in eating the eknitting than sitting nicely and letting me multitask (cuddling + knitting = best of two really great worlds).

The puppy is getting bigger and after much success with puppy school I have found myself able to multitask once again with knitting and making her practice “leave it”

And I’ve become obsessed.

I have multiple projects on the go of course, like any sensible knitter, but instead I found myself starting something new. And starting something big.

A sweater.

Not just any sweater. A Tanis sweater. A sweater I’ve been obsessing about since I first saw it online. A sweater I have the pleasure of knitting in Tanis Green Label Aran weight yarn.

And I’ve become obsessed.

Maybe it’s because I’m doing the back, which is largely plain stocking stitch, and is super quick with this chunky yarn. Maybe it’s because I have been obsessing with it for well over a year, should I knit it, shouldn’t I knit it. Maybe it’s because it’s cold outside, and I would like nothing more than to wrap myself up in this lovely warm sweater. Maybe with jeans. Maybe with jeggings (my other new obsession).

Yes, that’s probably it. The gratification of a big project is delayed – big projects take more time of course. But it’s so great when they’re done that they make me obsessively power through.

My prediction, Gordon is going to be very good at “Leave it” by the time I’m wrapped in the warmth and squishyness of Green Label.

Maybe if she’s lucky I’ll have just enough left over for her….. maybe, but not likely.

Ginger Knits

gingerknitsbutton2
Like the new button? And the new name? I’m working on a series of them that will just take you to the list of all posts related to the topic.  Some will be just me – the Ginger.  Some will be the boy – the Giant.  Some will be both – G&G.  I can’t say when they’ll be ready – I just don’t know.  But I can tell you I’m working on it in my little brain.
So this edition of Ginger Knits – The Beast that was a beauty.
I tend to go in phases.  I knit my brains out.  Or I don’t.  I blog my brains out. Or I don’t.  With this blanket it required A LOT of knitting and since babies make their own deadlines – that meant very little blogging while I tried desperately to make progress.
But it was worth it.
The pattern may look a little complicated but it’s an illusion – it’s actually fairly simple – and it turned out beautifully if I do say so myself.  I made it with baby bamboo and it is REALLY heavy and will definitely keep the wee one warm in a nice breathable way. But man, did it eat the yarn. This bad boy took me 10 balls. Granted they were mini little 50g balls, but it still took 10 of them and when it was all said and done – I could have easily kept knitting.
Do you know what’s not fun? Knitting a heavy blanket in the summer.
Our Elegant Country friends have had a healthy baby boy.  And named him Logan – same as BFF Kristyn’s baby.  We are affectionately referring to him as Logan 2.0 (mostly me, and mostly in my head – this should not be taken to mean that the second Logan is an improved version of the first – impossible.  They are both adorable and perfection in diapers).  Logan 2.0 arrived less than 24 hours after I cast-off. I knew he was waiting for me to finish.
The reaction? Wonderful.  I wrapped it up with a book for a card, with a message to baby, mom and dad. And included in the package a 6-pack of freshly baked muffins.  When the new Dad opened the bag the first thing he saw was the muffins and he was over the moon.  The Boy and I weren’t paying attention so we both thought he was gushing over the blanket.  Nope. Muffins.  Note to self, bring all new parents something to eat.
He kept digging and was pleasantly surprised.
For the knitters out there – I blocked it to try and make it a bit less squishy – which did help. Let it dry and took it outside to really show it is in fact green not grey.
Logan 2.0 is pretty darn cute. The Boy even held him – though complained bitterly for the rest of the night that his arm had cramped up.  That’s the littlest baby he’s held yet – and he’s getting better wouldn’t you agree?
Anyway, enough jabber – here’s that sweet face and some details on a sweet blanket.
Time: Probably about an hour(ish)  per stripe = long enough.

There’s a baby coming

Calm down. Of course it is not a giant ginger baby.  Although we did recently go on our honeymoon – or did we? More on that tomorrow.

No.  There is a perfectly wonderful friend baby coming in just a few short weeks and do you know what that means? I should stop knitting socks and start making some progress on the projects I started in January!

So that’s what I’ve been up to.  Knitting until my hands cramp.  And not blogging.

Nothing like a deadline.

Now, I obviously don’t want to give away the surprises but I will tell you this – every time my mom and grandmother look at what I’m knitting they say “I hope this is for you!” No it is not.  Calm down.

It is for a soon to be born, sure to be perfect little someone.  The perfect kind of baby for a newly married Ginger and Giant.


One you get to give back.

Send speed and agility to my needles.  And patience.  I’m getting bored and I’m pretty sure this baby is getting ready to make his/her appearance regardless.

101 in 1001 – THE NEW LIST

I made my argument yesterday, why things needed to change on the 101 in 1001 front… here are the updates.

Things I’m keeping on the list –

Photo Challenge  – 26 days in and going strong.
Colouring a colouring book – I’ve got one  and I’m working on it.
A button for my blog – I’m thinking it will come with a redesign this spring
Get a puppy – the family did get Miss. Molly but I’m hoping sometime in the next 500 or so days there is an animal in our house too… sure it might be a pipe dream but it’s one I have to keep alive!
Ride my bike to work everyday for 1 week – I now live 1.6km from work.  There is really no reason not to do this one.
Pay $5 for every item not completed

Things I’ve totally done but forgot to tell you –

I’ve gone to a concert – We saw The Tragically Hip this summer, they were awesome as usual.  We were supposed to see Weezer too but I foolishly left the time management to boys and we only caught the last song.  Colour me disappointed!

I’ve seen another play – Sista and I went on a date and saw her school production of RENT! It was decent, but the best part was probably the awesome over acting of innocent High School students singing about their lives as drugged out HIV+ prostitutes. So sweet.

We added new veggies to the garden – in the midst of w-planning we (okay The Boy totally managed the garden this year, basically single-handedly) added red peppers, banana peppers, plum tomatoes, yellow and green zucchini and kale to the mix this year.  For the most part our efforts did not go well… it might have been because it was a little neglected.

I bought a piece of art – I bought 2 pieces actually and they both include The Boy and I! One print from our engagement photo shoot – beautiful TTC photo and one from our wedding – beautiful photo of The Boy and I with our fancy car and the awesome barn. Oh man – they are both so awesome and beautiful and they both look like pieces of art that we just happen to be in. Double Score!

I Sponsored a woman at Christmas through a Holiday Hamper program – CHECK!

Things I have coming up that I’m super excited to cross off –

Going to a ballet – after a bit of a gong show trying to do this for my birthday, Mom bought me tickets for Christmas and Mom and I are going in March.

Photo Challenge – I’m finding this surprisingly fun, I even started reading the manual of our new camera – now I just have to retain that information and I’ll be set

Take a camera class – Seriously need to register for this.

Things I’m nixing completely

  1. Put $20 into savings for each thing I’ve completed – this just didn’t really work, I’m saving regularly and I never remember to put extra money in for accomplishing something.  I am keeping the pay $5 for things not completed though.
  2. Complete a 30 day challenge – 30 day challenge of what? I can’t remember. Off the list and replacing it with something else.
  3. Change the pictures in our frames once a year – I like the pictures we have up right now.
  4. Get a new bike – I don’t need a new bike.  Nixed.
  5. Keep all Movie Stubs – I put this on there because The Boy and I have seen a lot of movies in our history together and I’ve often thought imagine if I had kept all of the stubs? But do you know why you don’t keep the stubs? Because what is the point? There isn’t one.  Boo.
  6. Eat Raw for 1 week –  I haven’t been able to get through a week of completely vegetarian yet – meat seems to keep it’s way in there once a week! So this totally isn’t going to happen – I’ll pay the $5 but I’m changing this one to something else.

Things I’m adding in to replace those things I’m booting

  1. Knit 12 pairs of socks in 2012 – I knit January socks, then thought I lost them to a HORRIBLE felting incident in the washing machine, they seem to have survived – it was close but we made it. 1/12
  2. Knit 16 baby toques for donation to the local hospital
  3. Write a knitting pattern for socks and publish it on Ravelry
  4. PURGE the apartment one room at a time.
  5. Save $10,000
  6. Go on a week long vacation with the Boy, by ourselves.  The Boy and I have NEVER been away together family free for more than 3 days.  In 9 years.  Can you believe we JUST realized this!?

Under the Tree

Somehow I managed to make mad progress on the knitted gifts this Christmas.  Not only did I make cowls, mittens, toques, socks and my very first pom-pom… I did it all with time to spare.
I give you the knitted round-up

Like the cowls? Various simple patterns found on Ravelry by searching the yarn – Estelle Drake you can find the blue and orange one modeled by Miss Erin here, the pink one I also found on Ravelry but I’ll be damned if I can find it again – basically alternate squares of knit and purl.  The one in the middle is simple moss 60 stitches in the round.  Mittens for The Boy were too small so I ended up with new mittens. But The Physicist’s mittens fit perfectly! I made Sista’s toque (which she loves BTW – just doesn’t look like it in the picture) from the same pattern as the ones I made for the little ones this fall – but added a pompom for good measure. And the FIL (Father-in-Law) loved his socks so much last year – I made him a second pair (he has requested 7 pairs).

What did you knit for Christmas?

A new little person and a head cold

Do you remember BFF Kristyn?

Do you remember how she was nearly 7 months preggo on w-day?

She was a bit nervous that the dress would be too short but no dice.  She looked beautiful.

See.. (she’s the one on the right… with two flowers in her hair – one for each of them)

Well that little baby is here. I’ve seen the pictures.  It’s a beautiful baby. But there was never any doubt.

There’s just two small problems.

1. It’s a boy.  (Okay, fine. This is not actually a problem.  It’s quite the opposite in fact. It’s wonderful! It’s what all of the family members thought it would be.  They were on team boy through and through. It’s just not the team that I was on. I have no problem with boys.  Love them! They are so funny and cute and adorable. I love that he’s a boy. It’s truly wonderful. Love love love it.)

I knit for a girl. I was really really sure it was a girl. Which is annoying because I said it was a boy at first. But then… I changed my mind. I threw my gut instincts aside and switched teams (haha). I based my knitting decision on two factors:

a. BFF Kristyn was really sick when she first found herself responsible for growing a human. I based my mind change on the theory that there was too much estrogen in her system. Clearly, I was wrong.  I accept that.

b. There are so many cute things to knit for girls.  Teeny tiny dresses. Teeny tiny sweaters. Adorable.  One thing that I knit I kept gender neutral – or I think so anyway, we’ll see what the new little boy’s dad has to say I guess.  I finished sewing in the ends the night before the new little boy’s birthday. I have yet to talk to BFF Kristyn but I’m going to go ahead and assume that she started feeling contractions around 8pm on Friday night.  The knitting was ready. It’s an unspoken  The other little knitterly thing…. it’s girly.  Really girly.  And that is the only reason why this new beautiful little person being a boy is a problem. Not that the world will come to an end if a stranger on the street mistakes the new little boy for a little girl, but c’mon, who gives the new little boy a little girly sweater?

I told you – problem 1 is not a real problem – it just means I knit more. Good thing I like to do that.

2.  Problem 2 is the real problem.  I’m sick. 

BFF Kristyn’s unborn baby and I had a deal. I would go to Florida and he would either be born before I left, or camp out for another week until I got back. I figured it was only fair, he wasn’t due for another 10 days after we arrived back home AND I live spitting distance from the hospital. He kept his end of the bargain. He hung out as an inside baby for another full week after we got back.

He’s a good baby.

I on the other hand got sick.  Not gross sick. Just cold sick.  I sound like a man and that’s sick enough that it’s not cool to go and see a new baby and even less cool to go see that new baby’s new mom and dad. (Let’s face it the new baby’s got an immune system like gangbusters but his new sleep-deprived parents do not.)

So here I sit. Longing to squeeze and love the new baby. But I can’t. I am homebound… with the exception of work…  and a Shred Kelly show tonight. Okay, so not homebound – just in no baby zones.

Sigh.

I’m left to do the only thing I can think of which is send a big congratulations to BFF Kristyn and her hubs John and a big Blogosphere WELCOME to their new little baby boy. I am doing all I can to get well so the Boy and I can come and meet you super soon.

 

 

The reason I knit

How can you not want to knit beautiful things for these beautiful new people?

Baby toques are my new thing – they are SO easy and quick and ADORABLE because they are so little!!!

That means they make great little gifts when you’ve been a tad busy doing other things while the little ones were busy baking.

Plus if you knit – you usually get to squeeze the little. (It kinda goes without saying)

And the best part? If it’s too small their parents will be thrilled that their baby is so healthy, and a stranger you haven’t even met will love your toque your friends who leave it behind at the hospital for babies smaller than theirs.

That’s just a win/win/win