I don't really know what I am musing on these days. It's more like an irregular stream of consciousness thing...it seems to be working.


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« January 2006 | Main | March 2006 »

w February 28, 2006

Today's Treats

I have two new best friends. One is the green tea latte from Starbucks. Where has it been all my life? I get to drink green tea, a New Year's resolution, and get calcium...what is not to like?

The other just now stumbled upon: Commercials I Hate. I probably watch far too much tv, as it helps to have something yammering in the background all day, and most commercials are...execrable. Finally, a forum for ranting and reading other cynics with way too much time on their hands. Huzzah.

**Having read the article attached to the first link, I now realize this is a West Coast phenomenon. I feel so utterly...cliched. God, I love California.

by Heather Hoffman at 7:41 PM

w February 27, 2006

No Huzzah?

Okay, honey. It's not going to say much except for the fact that it's a bloody monsoon out there, but you asked for a Huzzah...here it is :)

Actually, today we will discuss finding pink ballet slippers for the Bean to wear with her flower girl dress come Aunt Erin's wedding in June. I'm going to sew ribbons onto them to tie up her legs, very Regency style, etc. Plus, it should help keep them on her skinny little feet. Pictures to follow.

Knitting a lot. Pictures to follow.

I am so damn boring today.

by Heather Hoffman at 10:26 PM

w February 22, 2006

Land of ICE and Snow

So I admit that when I watch the Summer Olympics, I tend to cheer for the USA, the Winter Olympics, Canada. It's called playing the odds, to a degree, isn't it? At any rate, between the Canadian women winning hockey gold and Cindy Klassen and Kristina Groves winning gold and silver, respectively, in the 1500m speedskating, I think it's fair to say Canada maintains a certain level of ice ownership.
I do think an awesome combination would be a Dutch-Canadian who grew up in Ottawa, skating those canals. Had a babysitter when I was a kid, born to Dutch parents, who used to take us skating and when I expressed admiration for her abilities, said with a smile, "Heather, I'm Dutch...we can skate before we can walk". Indeed.

But...check out those Canadian women. They rock the ice. Sweet.

by Heather Hoffman at 10:03 PM

w February 13, 2006

I Heart Preschool

This is the Valentine we got from Bean, via preschool.


by Heather Hoffman at 10:35 PM


Felting, We Have

You can't tell really on this picture, but the hand felting actually pretty much worked. Plonked the mitts into a pan full of hot water, and started lightly scrubbing with a bamboo soap holder I had found. It was the perfect size and abrasive quality for this activity, so I'm glad I'm a packrat. Probably took a good 15 minutes per mitt, but they did indeed shrink about an inch when all was said and done, and they definitely feel denser and softer. Of course, this means that they are *still* drying...but here's to hoping they will be ready to ship to Toronto shortly. This whole hand felting process was oddly gratifying, in a way I think the machine would not have been. I could actually see and feel the wool fibers shifting shape under my fingers, and it felt, well, productive. Is it something I want to do all the time, to every knitting project?
Hell no. But for things like Canuckistan-bound mittens, it works a treat.


by Heather Hoffman at 10:31 PM

w February 11, 2006

Medieval Torture Device

But in reality, a mitten being worked on double pointed needles, added to which is a stitch holder of fierce sharpness. This is #2 of a pair of mitts I am making for my nearly-brother-in-law, who, as a trumpet player, has a vested interest in keeping his hands warm in the vicious Toronto winter. I attempted to felt the first one (in the washing machine), to no avail. At least I don't think it looks like it was supposed to, and it's still semi-freakishly long. I'm going to try the old-fashioned version of beating it up by hand in the sink full of hot soapy water. We shall see. Worst case scenario, I'll work more bewitchery of stitching to make it a tiny bit shorter (already did that on the first one because I hate the pointy topped mitts).


by Heather Hoffman at 6:38 PM


Hoodie In Progress

I wanted a hooded vest. I started to make a hooded sweater, see Les Artes Domestiques. I got sick of fighting this bulky yarn in cable, so said FUNK DIS...wanted a vest anyway. Bingo! No more annoying sleeves. Granted, now that I finally have overcome my fear of cable needles, it was a lot easier to justify ditching half of the pattern. The hardest half. You can't really tell, but there is a semi-nifty pattern on the charcoal portion of this. I've got a ways to go with plain old stockinette stitch before things get interesting again, but that's okay. No sleeves!


by Heather Hoffman at 6:14 PM


I'm On the Bandwagon

I'm sure you all know someone who is a knitter, now that it's become super popular. Perhaps that person is me, and in which case, I'm *sure* you are all vastly interested in the process and progress of my projects.

How tweely alliterative. Apologies.

At any rate, while I have made quite a few things up to this point, I have only just now started documenting them; I confess I was inspired by the discovery of a college friend's knitting blog, but it also forces me to actually FINISH projects. I haven't done too badly in the last few months, to be truthful, but this will hopefully also inspire me to attempt more challenging ones. I think maybe I'll set the latest up in separate entries, so as not to confuse.

Be prepared to be amazed and impressed! You all know I'm kidding.

by Heather Hoffman at 5:59 PM

w February 09, 2006


Woke up this morning to the Bean's barf. Actually, I didn't discover it until AFTER I had given her a cup of milk and thought, huh, that's an unpleasant odor. Well, yes, it was. Clothes and bed stripped, laundry started, Bean in the bathtub. Okay, great. Thought I'd put her in bed with us for a while as it was still kind of early. Great, for about twenty minutes.

YAK. YAK YAK YAK. Fortunately she managed to get most of it on her clothes rather than on the bedsheets, but it was still a bit messy. Okay, got that cleaned up, her cleaned up, more laundry in, towel down on bed, let's try and grab a few more minutes.

Clearly school was not in the picture today, so upstairs we went, got settled on the couch with Playhouse Disney on TV, and Pedialyte in our sippy cup. All is well, actually, quite good. She has no fever, and is remarkably cheerful in between her bouts of retching. Only problem?

YAK YAK YAK. Okay. Pedialyte won't stay down, but we seem to be feeling pretty good otherwise. Mom is confruzzled. Downstairs to bed so that I can put in the THIRD load of laundry and call the nurse. Turns out this is a short lived bug running around the preschool set, just keep her hydrated, don't offer food until she hasn't barfed in 8 hours, rest, etc etc. Small bits of PediaPops stayed down, the pink lemonade popsicle I found in the freezer seems to be doing okay thus far...we may venture out later to get 7-Up or ginger ale. We'll see. I can probably scare up some Kool-Aid popsicles from what is in the cupboards, so maybe a field trip won't be necessary. It just breaks my heart to see her feel crummy though. At least she's pretty happy (though tired) and enjoying her CDs and toys.

It's just that...I smell like yak. It's really unpleasant. It's the stench of motherhood, unfortunately. Good thing I love her passionately.

by Heather Hoffman at 12:44 PM

w February 04, 2006

No, For Real, Talk to Me!

My brilliant husband has fixed the comments section on this blog apparently. Please. Talk to me. I know all of the words to all the songs on kids' tv, and it's starting to freak me out.

by Heather Hoffman at 9:45 PM


Les artes domestiques

I was actually taught to knit and crochet as a relatively young child by my grandmother, but never really did much with it. I think I may have struggled through a cardigan in late high school or early college, but it was so incredibly frustrating, I gave it to my mom and never wanted to see it again. In recent years, I've picked at least the knitting back up again, and have discovered things are vastly more fun when you have additional adult patience at hand. Thus far I have made Bean two sweaters (one pullover, one cardigan), cat toys for my friend J's new addition, two or three baby sweaters for various knocked up friends, two pairs of mittens (an extremely pleasing project over Christmas as I created a heart design on the baby pair and a cool striped pattern on those for my sister), numerous hats of all shapes and sizes, and my proudest accomplishment, a pair of socks for my dad's birthday.

Yep, I knitted a pair of your standard grey wool socks. I *know* he could go buy some, but there was sweat equity in these and especially after his surgery in October, warm feet are a nice thing. Besides, I was utterly chuffed that I learned how to wrestle with double pointed needles and actually produced something recognizable. I'm not a huge fan of circular needles, so the DPNs were a great achievement.

I finally decided to bolster myself and learn how to use a cable needle. Turns out, it is really really really really easy. I don't know why everyone makes it seem so scary, though I do have to give credit to Debbie Stoller's
"Stitch 'n' Bitch" for demystifying the workings of this funkily shaped little needle.
Found a pattern for a hooded sweater complete with zipper (no buttonholes, huzzah!) that looked promising; I also thought, well, this is for me for a change, so if it looks a bit shabby, no one will mind. It's slow going because the pattern requires a lot of close attention and counting and tugging yarn off aforementioned cable needle, but I think I may be able to finish it before I reach menopause.

The most gratifying thing is looking at the growing swatch and thinking, oh my word...it actually LOOKS like cabling. I actually knit CABLE STITCHES. I suppose in the past, this was not such a mad accomplishment, but considering how few women (or men, for that matter) have the benefit of learning the domestic arts, I admit to feeling excrutiatingly proud of myself for figuring it out just from being able to read. Now, get back to me in a few weeks (months) and see how much farther I've gone on said sweater...

by Heather Hoffman at 9:20 PM

w February 01, 2006

Cooking with Bean

Wednesdays are "cooking day" at Bean's preschool...usually it's something easy and expandable, like pancakes or pudding. Today was pancakes, and she ate two of them, and apparently very much enjoys hitting the button to make the blender/mixer whirl around. I also found out that on a pudding day, one of the teachers had moved the beaters out of the bowl and all of a sudden, Bean hit the button...pudding everywhere.

Her occupational therapist wants one of her goals to be "pushing a button or switch to activate a toy". Um, I think we have that one covered.

by Heather Hoffman at 12:38 PM