I've got nothing. It's been a month, that's for sure. Since coming home from Denmark, we've been rather tight on cash since I didn't work for three weeks last month. Add to it the stress of the holidays and our rabbit Willow passing suddenly and you have a stressed out family.

Willow, our dear bunny, passed a few weeks ago, as I said. It wasn't unexpected, but just surprising. He was a very old rabbit, eight years, and his health had been deteriorating over several months. Robbie and I have been dealing with it fairly well, but Elodie is still very confused about where Willow went. We've tried to explain that he's in a better place (she wants to go to a better place, too, apparently), that he was sick and died (now she's worried that she's going to die because she's sick), and that he's gone to live with Nan (when's he coming back?).

For what it's worth, Willow was a great rabbit with lots of personality. The first time I held him, he unbuttoned three buttons on my shirt and attempted to undo my jeans button. I promptly accused Robbie (who I was not yet dating) of training his rabbit. He would make houses for himself out of blankets, adored carrots and would knock your hand over for attention.

He had silky-smooth fur and his eyes were both half blue, half brown. When you scratched between his ears, his eyes would slowly droop until he was fast asleep.

Christmas knitting is going forth steadily, hence the lack of pictures. Half my recipients read the blog (I think), and so I can't exactly go touting the amazingness of me on the blog with their presents displayed for all to see. Trust me. The amount of knitting is startling.

In happy news, my cousin Martin and his wife, Rikke, shown previously in this post, are the proud new parents of a 8.5 pound baby girl! I wish them all the best!

A little plug here before I bid you all adieu. The Natural Bardo is creating the most beautiful laptop holders. If anybody is looking for a unique and functional piece of art for your desk, check these out. They'd make great Xmas presents, too, for that hard-to-buy-for someone. Don't I know someone like that...

Finally, folks, I must get back to work. This recession thing sucks, but I get paid in American dollars. So there's something to owning your own business and having the Canadian dollar plumet suddenly. The more I work, the bigger my "bonus" when I head to the bank to cash the check. Definitely appreciated.

(EDITED TO ADD: Keep knittinggrammy and her husband in your thoughts. Her hubby had quite a fall, and he's going to be off his feet for a long, long time. If anybody knows of any patterns for a cast cover, send them along to her.)


Denmark, in (Limited) Pictures

Unfortunately, during our trip to Denmark, the camera was not working for a good portion. *sob*

Here are a sampling of the 50 pictures I did manage to take on the three days I managed to take them.

The first day in Denmark, we visited my grandmother's grave site


We made sure to go to the lake


We took Elodie to an old Lutheran church (her first time in a church, actually).


Every Danish Lutheran church has a ship, with the front facing the front of the church.


We checked out the ocean


We went to the aquarium in Esbjerg where we saw them feed the seals


And Elodie enjoyed the Maritime portion of the museum.


Elodie played with my cousin's kids (all but two of the ten cousins on that side have kids now).


We had dinner at a different family member's house every night. My disgustingly handsome cousin, Martin, and his wife, Rikke, treated us like kings on our night there.


It was mostly a trip of hanging around Bedstefar's house, enjoying the garden and moody weather.


Bedstefar spoiled Elodie to no end. She got ice cream every night.


It was a little cold in the mornings.


But when the sun came out, it was glorious.


We played hide and seek in the forest. Turns out that it's not my dad's strong suit (you can see him in red behind the tree).


I was sad to see that my favourite forest is dying.


But there's still life.


And some beautiful scenery, of course.


It was a great trip, although I'm totally sick now. It always happens when I fly. I catch some awful cold from a fellow flier. Ick. I knit a whole bunch, and hopefully I'll have pictures of the completed projects (plural!!!) before the week is through.


Off to see the Wizard

This time next week, I'll be (hopefully) safely on the ground, in a rental car, driving toward my grandfather's house. I'm SO excited!!!!!

Bedstefar went through surgery with flying colours. He's sore, but he's doing well. I'm packing a few cookbooks, and I'm going to play the part of lovely hausfrau while staying there. Elodie's passport is ready for pickup in the morning (hopefully), and then we get a commissioner of oaths to sign a letter saying that Elodie can fly out-of-country with me (thankfully, we know a few of them), and we'll be all set!

It's been a generally slow week, knit-wise. I did, however, try out the new Mach 1 Spinolution at Make 1. HOMG. I want. I lust. I desire. Let's just say that within five minutes of sitting down at the thing, I was spinning laceweight out of camel/tussah. Did I mention that I lust?

The drive is amazing, it just goes and goes and goes. It's so quiet and lovely. Sure, it's not the prettiest wheel, but who the heck cares? It's BREATHLESS. Or maybe that's just me. I love it. Anybody wanting to donate to the "buy Kayla a Mach 1" fund can just send me a check for $500. Or more. More is always good.

So, current projects, I'm done half of two pairs of socks (read: one sock from each pair), half through a mitten of a pair of thrummed mittens for myself, cast on a mitten for a pair for Elodie, half through the back of a sweater and halfway through three lace shawls. I'm sure there's more projects somewhere.

The thing is, I don't mind having all these projects. I have quite a few Xmas presents to do this year (although less than last year), and by starting them all at once, I seem to feel like I'm going to actually finish them. I'm sure the same thing will happen this year as happened the last two years. I'll be the one up at 2:00 a.m., knitting furiously on ONE LAST GIFT, mentally planning the family breakfast we have every year at our house (sure to be attended by no less than 14 people this year, but probably closer to 30 - not including Robbie, Elodie and myself) on Xmas morning.

I also already have knitting projects planned for after the holidays. My mom recently took a trip to Prairie Fibre Mill, run by Sheila Spurling-Law, who she went to high school with, and brought by $140 worth of llama/merino/silk blend yarn for me to knit her a sweater (and hat and scarf and mitts) out of. Since I'm all about the process and not so much about the product, I can't wait! The sweater itself will be boring (in my opinion) since it doesn't have cables or patterning. It's just a plain sweater with shaping and perhaps a button on the v-neck. Simple, no?

Okay. It's nearly midnight, and I have a passport to pick up in the morning, not to mention three bathrooms to clean. I've got to work on blogging during the day and not in the dead of night.


Can I just say...

How tired I am of Passport Canada? I have made THREE trips down there, and THREE times, I've paid for parking, found a babysitter, driven into Calgary, etc, and THREE times, I've been told to fix something on my application. Now, I have to order a new birth certificate for my daughter. OMG. Apparently, because Robbie and I were in a heathen union when she was born, they need a birth certificate with both our names on it. The registration number won't cut it. Are you JOKING me?

Anyway, it looks like I'll be coughing up the additional $75 for an urgent passport. Le sigh. The flight is booked for November 13th, and we'll be back on November 23rd. I'm excited to see my family, and I can't wait to show my daughter around my favourite haunts. A Risted hotdog will be a must-have. I want to show her Koldinghus where Robbie proposed (not that she'll understand that aspect). We'll travel and see family she's never met, and my cousin's wife is due any day now, so there may even be a new baby to cuddle! I can't believe how much I want to go there, the place I love to call my second home.

Anyway, I promised you all content, and content you shall receive!! It's not knitting, but it's something.

In September, Robbie and I spent a weekend and repainted our daughter's room. Here are the before and after photos of the process.





The work-in-progress:






Finished (finally):







She is one happy little girl.



Allow me to expand.

Now that I've calmed down, slightly. My grandfather, Bedstefar, as I call him, is almost 88 years old. He lives in Denmark. I love him dearly and always regret not seeing him enough.

Today, I found out that he has prostate cancer. He will be going in for surgery in November. My dad, Elodie and myself will be flying out mid November to spend two weeks with him while he recovers. The doctors don't think this will take him, but he's 88 years old. He's had three hip replacements, two knee surgeries, and my dad has never flown out for those. After talking to my Bedstefar about it, he's flying out for this.

I'm terrified.

Cancer is a word that has had horrible implications for me in the past. It took my mother-in-law. It took my mom's best friend. It's taking a friend of mine right now. I've seen people fight it and win, and I've seen people fight it and lose.

I didn't learn to speak to Bedstefar until I was 15 years old. I spoke English, he spoke Danish. We communicated through winks, smiles, hugs and a bizarre sort of sign language. You try to sign ice cream. It's not easy.

A language like that, however, is one where you don't try to communicate out of necessity. You communicate because you love the person, and you want to talk to them. It's the best kind of communication.

My bedstefar was born in the '20s, grew up during Nazi occupation, and raised five children. He lost his wife to Alzheimers when he was just 66 years old. He has ten grandchildren and 16 great-grandchildren. He still lives in his own home, has a girlfriend, mows his lawn (on a ride-on mower with his cap askew), has beautiful roses and a lop-sided grin that most of the grandchildren inherited. He has hands that are so strong.

I've noticed how old he's gotten lately. He tells the same jokes and stories when we're there. He doesn't travel as much anymore. He didn't come to Canada for my wedding because he wasn't up for the time change. He drives far too fast, as most seniors tend to do.

Most of all, I've noticed that his walk is a little more swayed, a little slower, a little stiffer. He still does his little hum as he walks, puttering around the house, but the he's not as able to keep up with the house as he was. The cobwebs are creeping up on him.

I've noticed him getting older, and it scares me.

My grandfather speaks fluent German. He learned it when the Nazis were occupying Denmark. He refused to speak it. I learned German because although I could understand Danish, I couldn't speak it. So I thought that if I spoke German to him, he could answer back in Danish, and we could speak in a roundabout sort of way. I remember opening my mouth and asking him a question for the very first time. Wer ist das? Who is this? I asked it while looking through one of his many old family albums.

To my shock, and my father's shock, he answered back, in perfect high German, Das ist miner schwester. That is my sister. He broke his own silence to communicate with me, and I am eternally grateful.

It's not the cancer that terrifies me. The surgery will fix that. It's that he's old. He's frail. He's got this spirit that won't quit, but his body is failing him. He will die one day, and I don't know how I'll deal with that. Not only that, but one day my maternal grandparents will die. One day, my parents will die. One day, I will die.

Whenever I am faced with death or the looming threat of it, I am stuck contemplating my own. What does it mean to die? Does it hurt? Who will take care of the family I leave behind? How will I die? What happens when we die?

These are slightly heavy questions to broach on a knitting blog, but these are my questions. I ponder them long hours while I knit. Why do people die? I know that logically, people die so that there's room on the earth for the new. The old bodies wear out, and the new bodies take their place. But why is death such a hard thing for people, for me, to deal with? Afterall, death is a natural ending to life. One dies. Everyone dies.

Bedstefar, Anton, is dying, as we all are, and I'm trying to figure out what that means to me.

So I soaked in the tub for four hours this evening, read a novel that I've been meaning to read (Man and Boy. Read it if you have the chance. Excellent novel), and it dawned on me. Fear of death is something one must overcome to live. Fear of death is something that one must deal with. Life goes on. Life must go on. As I get older, I will lose more and more and more people. I will lose loved ones and friends. I cannot fathom it now because at my young age, my life streches out before me like a forest path. It's shadowed, and I can't see where it leads, but I also can't see the end.

I walk this path, enjoying the scenes around me, not really paying attention to my destination. One day, that destination will arrive, and I can only hope that the scenes I've witnessed, the lessons I've learned, allow me to greet that destination as a friend when it arrives.


My grandfather has cancer.


It's Been A While

Sorry I haven't posted in so long. There's been a lot going on, but I've been sort of down in the dumps lately. Trying to eat healthier (I break my diet every, single day), trying to read more (I'm working more instead), trying to knit more (well...at least I'm doing that), trying to exercise more (does chasing Elodie count?).

I DO have content, but it's not here. It's on my memory stick that I can't find. Lined up is half a shawl, a finished sock, a finished hat and a mitten. Spinning-wise, I have cobweb-weight silk and 4 oz of fibre. Somewhere...

Check back tomorrow by which time I will have completed a whirlwind search of the house to find my content and posted it.


And The Bad News Rears Its Ugly Head.

I just found out tonight that a dear friend of mine who holds a very special place in my heart has been diagnosed with brain cancer.

I met her when I was a kid, only ten or eleven. She, her husband and two kids had just moved in three houses down. Our families became fast friends, and we spent lots of time with them.

She was a breast cancer survivor. She'd fought the disease and won. A few years later, she was diagnosed with breast cancer again. Once again, she overcame the disease.

Two or three years ago (was it really so long ago?), she was diagnosed with cancer a third time, this time in her spine. It was a hormone-based cancer, and so she had a hysterectomy to battle the disease. Some people live with diabetes. She was going to live with cancer.

Now she's has a brain tumor.

I'm not quite sure what to say. She had two young children. She's an amazing person, and I associate so many things with her. Ripening wheat fields and the smell of horses. Beautiful roan hair and lively eyes. A welcoming home. A sense of humor that never excludes anybody. Royalty.

I don't want her to lose this fight. It seems so unfair that she, who has battled and won against this disease so many times, is fighting it yet again. I don't want to think about the possibility that it might win the war.

Please, keep my friend and her young family in your thoughts.

Thank you.


Bloggosphere to Awesome Jocelyn

Your yarn is half complete. Pardon the crappy images. It's dark outside.




We're running at approximately 450 yds when the four ounces are finished, and it's spinning into about a Louet Gems light fingering weight yarn. It's soft as butter.


It's All About Me!

Stolen from Jocelyn, for whom I'm spinning some lovely Merino.

I am: Kayla -- Miss mew to my family and Kaylalalalala to friends.
I think: far too much about far too many things.
I know: a lot of really pointless facts, thanks to my job.
I have: a horrible disease called Acceptitis.

I wish: I had a prehensile tail.


I hate: spiders with ever fibre of my being.
I miss: sleeping in every day.
I fear: death.
I hear: Mulan in the next room.
I smell: my dog. Ick.
I crave: peanut butter M&Ms and Swedish Berries.
I search: for small moments all to myself.
I wonder: who is going to win the presidential election. (Go Obama!)
I regret: not being nicer to my parents when I was a kid.
I love: kneading bread.
I ache: pretty much everywhere. I've been painting all weekend.
I am not: tall or willowy or stunning, but I am happy with myself for the most part.
I believe: in paying it forward.
I dance: the polka every chance I get.
I sing: all the time.
I cry: when I feel upset, and I don't hold it in.
I fight: because I'm stubborn.
I win: because Robbie usually lets me.
I lose: in arguments with my Grandpa. He's more stubborn than I am.
I never: pee outside.
I always: nap in the afternoon.
I confuse: right and left all. the. time.
I listen: to everything my grandmother tells me. She's done most everything before me.
I can usually be found: in a good mood.
I am scared: of the dark and sleeping alone.
I need: to learn how to be a better cleaner.
I am happy about: pretty much everything in my life right now. Although I could always use more money, but who couldn't?
I imagine: fame and fortune in my daydreams because I know that I couldn't handle it in real life.
I tag: everybody who feels like playing!

Here’s how you play: in a post at your own blog, copy and paste all the questions below. Erase out my answers and replace them with your own.

Please leave a note so I may go learn all about you


Do You Ever Have One of Those Days?

You know the ones I'm talking about. The ones where you just want to throw yourself (or someone else) out a window and curl up in bed and ignore everybody? Yeah, I'm there. It has been a day from hell. I don't know if I was the grumpy one or if Elodie was the grumpy one or both, but we were not a dynamic duo today. In fact, we were pretty much as static in our position of repetitive grumpiness as two people could get.

Morning came far too early this morning, and the afternoon nap wasn't long enough. Robbie keeps forgetting to print off clue two for the MS4, so I haven't even had the opportunity to escape to my lace. The sock will be getting some action tonight. I will also be getting some blizzard action from my husband who happens to have worked all day in Red Deer and then abandoned me for a meeting this evening. Who knows when he'll be home, but he'll be bringing some ice cream, dammit!

I think I need to get my meds refilled.

Things around the house are stagnant. I have all these huge dreams for updating and upgrading our new house, but, well, a person needs money to do that. Factor into the equation that I had been hoping to travel to Denmark to visit my family next year, but that trip has now been called into question (not by me, but by my parents), so I don't know if I'm going. I'm depressed about it because I need a definite date for that trip so that we can plan the next stag eof our family. If I get pregnant and the date changes to a yes, I probably can't go because I was super sick last time, and I don't want to risk it this time.

Also, I'm terrified of having to give birth in a hospital again. It was, honestly, a horrible experience. I had to argue for most of the labour with an over-zealous OB/GYN who wanted to hook me up to Syntocinon and throw on a fetal monitor and strap me into a bed and just get that baby out NOW. She managed to keep me strapped to a bed, but I managed to argue enough during transition that she didn't get her way.

So Robbie and I are looking into a midwife. Did you know that Alberta is the ONLY province in Canada that regulates midwives but doesn't publically fund them? It costs $3,500 to give birth with a midwife attending you. And yet, the system is overloaded, there's not enough labour and delivery beds to go around, midwives are RECOMMENDED by the World Health Organization for low-risk births, and we're behind the times.

Okay, not as behind as some countries (did you know that having a midwife is illegal in 11 states??), but behind. Our peers are soaring ahead of us, England is moving toward a very aggressive midwife-friendly L&D approach, 40,000 babies were born in Ontario last year with midwives, and here Robbie and I are, contemplating how we're going to save up $3,500 for the birth of our next child.

Okay. Rant over.


100th post, Elodie the Yarn Wrangler, a Spider and Socks.

I'm sorry I haven't been blogging as much as I'd like to, but it's been a busy few weeks.

I have been crafting a lot more now that I don't have quite so much work to do. I've spun up eight ounces over the last few weeks, and they're really nice. I'm also working on the MS4 (done clue one!), a sock and I've been spinning for some people.

So let me begin my story with my day today. It's been a good day. I got some work done this morning, managed to eat lunch and take a bath. I had a nap when Elodie napped, and I worked on my sock while she watched Dora. I thought, hey, it's nice out. Let's take the yarn and the sock to the park, I'll knit while she plays, and before we go home, I'll get some pictures for the blog. Great idea, right?


4 oz hand-dyed Merino that Robbie picked up in Vancouver while on a transportation summit.
375 yds
Heavy fingering


4 ozs BFL, hand painted by Annie.
440 yds

Elodie had great fun with the yarn shoot.







I even managed to get some good pictures of the sock I'm working on. It's my own design (!!!), that I will be publishing to the blog once it's done. Perhaps on Ravelry, too. I don't know.


I've been feeling the big cables lately, since they remind me so much of fall.


And then the Spider.

I was just packing our stuff up when I feel something hit my face. It felt like it was tugging to one side, so I turn my head in that direction, and ... you know on Charlotte's Web how the baby spiders release their silk parachutes and go flying off into the wilderness? This spider had a parachute. So said parachute hit me in the face, and when I turn around, here's Mr. Big Spider (a weird, white crab-looking one) all splayed out and blowing in the breeze behind me. So I freak out and quickly snap the little line that's attaching him to me.

I'm all shaky and ick, but disaster has been diverted (so I thought), so I'm starting to calm down. Then I hear this:

"Aw, hi, Charlotte!" Which is Elodie's name for spiders. All spiders. Even big, white crab-looking ones.

"Elodie, is there a Charlotte on my back?" (Doing some heavy mouth breathing)


"Elodie, can you take the Charlotte off my back?" (Doing very very heavy mouth breathing)

"Okay, mommy." Brushes my back. "All gone."

I turn around. "Thank you, Elodie." I see movement. Charlotte is not all gone. Charlotte is climbing down my pant leg.

So after a weird, interpretive dance thing and a few questions ("What you dancing for? You happy, mommy?"), Elodie and I manage to pack up our things and head home.

Quite eventful for my 100th post. Perhaps it was fate.


Work-At-Home Mommy...Again.

Elodie and I have survived our first week with her at home full time. That was something that terrified me and made me so excited at the same time. The first day, I nearly cried when she woke up at 7:15. I generally don't get up until 8:30. Sometimes later.

All week, though, I've been waking up at 7:30 or earlier, and Elodie and I have started to fall into a routine. We wake up, eat some breaky in our PJs, she watches her Toopy & Binoo show while I work (or procrastinate). We play a bit, she has a nap at 11:00, I have a nap at 11:00. When we wake up at about 1:00, we have a bath, we have some lunch and then do our craft or play Playdough.

After playing, we walk to the park and play some more. After that, we generally make our way (walking) to Robbie's work to inform him of our trip to the library, please meet us there after work, and then we go to the library so Mommy can read and Elodie can play.

It's a really good schedule, and she's not so dependent anymore. If anything, she's so independent that it's scary. But I believe I have a new-found love of motherhood. Today, we cuddled on the couch while she watched Monsters, Inc. Okay, I watched it, too. Then a few mornings ago, we hid from the tickle monster under the covers. She's so cute, whispering and giggling.

Each afternoon, when we have our bath, I wash her hair and condition it. She thinks her hair feels so nice afterward and runs her hands through it. While I dry off, she giggles and pretends she's a mermaid in the tub. We read books and lounge. She informed me that she was going to knit me a hat (while furiously clicking some circs together). She sits at her chair on the kitchen table and fishes with circulars.

She watches me knit a shawl. She holds the yarn as I knit. She holds the fibre as I spin.

The baby that she was has vanished. She's a witty, funny, smart, beautiful little girl, and she has amazed me every day this week. I'm so excited for the next months. I'm loving this.

Don't get me wrong, I love my personal time. But I have a loving husband who understands that need, and I get at least a few hours to myself each night. At the beginning of the week, I was dreading being at home and being responsible ALL BY MYSELF for Elodie ALL DAY.

Now? I can't wait for next week to start.


On to the knitting/spinning. I can't show you my knitting right now because I don't have any pictures of it. Actually, I can't really show you my spinning either (I have two sock yarns on the go and two lace weights) because I don't have pictures of those either. I do, however, have pictures of fibre!!!

I took some of the shetland fleece that Terra and I got and brought it up to spinable form. Here are the original locks (pardon the poor lighting. I washed at 1:00 in the morning.


And the combed fibre (I used a dog rake and a fork...).



I'm spinning it for a shawl, Mystery Shawl 4. Super excited! The first clue came out today, but I'm going to start this one later. I've got to finish my sock yarns!!