Saturday, 29 June 2013

A shining star

It has taken me a long time to write this ... and I am still not sure if I am ready, or if I will ever be ready, or able to say what I want to say, or pay tribute in a way I will feel contented with, but I really feel it is time to try.

This winter, a true tragedy happened in my family, something that we will never recover from.  As I was getting ready to put my little fellow to bed after his evening bath on January 23rd, I got the phone call that no one ever wants to get - "There has been an accident, we think you should come now."  I still can't believe it happened and that we will never see my beautiful, funny, wise-beyond-his-young-age nephew ever again, and that it all happened so fast.  I still can't think about it without breaking down.

It doesn't seem fair to lose a five year old child ... and it is hard to believe how much impact Owen made in his brief time with us.  I wish I could write something that captures how much he meant to us, or what he was like, but I can't ... it's all in my heart, but sounds hollow when I write it.  Owie was a bigger than life, full steam ahead or nothing, shoot from the hip, tell it like it is, little old man in a child's body sort of character ... he shone in every situation, and everyone who ever met him, remembered him afterward because he was such a little character, and wasn't one little bit shy. 

Owen loved to tell you why his way was the right way, and why your way was NOT.  Whenever he came for a visit, he'd wrestle and rough house with his brother and my husband until someoen ended up in trouble ... usually my husband!   He was a free spirit who thought nothing of dropping his pants to pee anywhere outside ... even in the garden centre at Walmart.  He loved his family deeply, and thankfully was not embarrassed to show it -- he would give big bear hugs, always with an "I LOVE you!" before parting. 

He was "all boy" and was happiest helping his dad with yard work, or his grandfather with wood.  Workgloves and a wheelbarrow were trademark looks for Owen.  He enjoyed being outdoors, and loved everything about being outside - he was an avid mini quad driver, accomplished at make believe on the playground, and had just learned to ride a two wheeler.  Batman was his idol ... and I love that one of my final memories of time spent with Owen was at Christmas when he got a Batman costume, and insisted on wearing it an entire evening (he was so proud of his costume). 

Being a social butterfly, Owen liked the social aspects of school despite the fact that he wasn't big on the educational pieces of school ... he told his mom that he wanted to go to work at a local tavern to support himself, his 'girlfriend' (who his mom was not even aware he had) and their kids when he turned 16. 

He was an awesome hat model and a great inspiration for knitting hats (and he and his brother were always so appreciative of their knitted hats, that I loved knitting for them).  I had started their hats for this Christmas past, and had run out of time to finish them ... his older brother's needs about 20 minutes work to complete, and Owen's is still just a project bag with wool and a pattern in it ... I wish now I had found the time to finish the two hats and give them. The boys would have loved their Star Wars hats.  This coming Christmas, I had planned to knit an Angry Birds hat for Owen, and hadn't decided on what Jack's wouldbe ... little things like this will always be hard to think about.  All the would have, could have, should have's and all the things we aren'g going to get to do with Owen or for Owen.  Those are the things that bring the reality of what has happened crashing down. 

Owen was a super star in our family, and to those who knew him.  Ironically, the week we lost Owen, he was "Star of the Week" at school, so he and his family had been spending time thinking about all the things that make him special, so he could do his "Star" at school and tell the other kids about himself.  For all of us, after his passing, the "star" came to be our symbol for Owen, and we all now have a star necklace to remember him by.  I wear mine when I am having a rough day to help me feel closer to him.

The outpouring of support that my sister and her family have received from the community they live in and the people sahe and her husband work for, have worked for or have relationships through their jobs with has been phenominal.  Owen touched a lot of people's lives, and his loss and what my sister, Owen's older brother and my brother in law are going through has touched a lot of people as well.  The outpouring of sympathy and support has been phenominal, and it really affirms that there is good in the world.  My sister came home from work about 3 weeks ago to a phone call from the local pizza place, asking what time and what flavor pizza she would like for their supper, as a neighbor who did not want to be identified had bought them supper (this is 4 months after his death!).  The local Habitat for Humanity has dedicated their build this year to Owen's memory, complete with signage.  His school brought in  magician for the kids for an end of the year show in Owen's memory.  My sister came home the day of his birthday to find flowers and balloons waiting for her, with a beautiful note from her employer and coworkers.  On his birthday, the manager at their local Tim Hortons saw the three of them come in for their customary Saturday morning coffee, and brought over a 40 pack of chocolate Tim Bits, because she remembered it was Owen's birthday and that they were his favorite.

I could go on and on, people have been so kind and so thoughtful to my sister, my nephew and my brother in law, and have done so much to honor the memory of our special little star, Owen.  It is hard to think about him, because it is painful to think that such an amazing little person lost their life, and we will never see him, hold him or laugh with him again,  but all the memories I have of Owen leave me smiling, because he was such a funny, fun loving, and vibrant little person.  It is so hard to believe that he is really gone.  I have never been a spirual person, but I really hope that there is a heaven, because I have a strong need to see our Little Owie one more time.

Sunday, 17 March 2013

Cozy Cooper

A quick little knit for my nephew's new Shitzhu puppy "Cooper". He is only 6 weeks old, and weighs less than 2 lbs. - so we figured he needed a sweater for all the trips outside for potty traing;) plus, nothing is cuter than a puppy in a sweater! Pattern is "Dog Sweater for Small Dogs" by Brian Herzog, and is a pretty easy pattern to follow. I added the checkerboard pattern around the bottom, and also put a dog motif on the back (just for whimsy!). It turned out cute and just barely fits him ... so I am going to make another sweater for him, but will try a different pattern. More on that when I am done!
This sweater was knit with Patons Classic Wool, in a variety of scrap colours I had in my stash. I used 3.75 mm needles.  It should be cozy, warm and protect him a bit from the damp when they are outside for walks.

Sunday, 10 March 2013

Thinking ahead

5x7 Folded Card
View the entire collection of cards.
Yep ... Easter is on it's way, and I can't believe that I might actually get my Easter cards in time this year! Shutterfly has/had a special deal on for 10 free cards ... so I figured it was a sign to get cards done up :) I have 15 coming and will enclose the Easter portraits we had done of MonkeyPants at Walmart yesterday. The special is only good until the end of today (promocode is SPRINGTHING)... so hurry up and order :) Be forwarned though ... the shipping to Canada is a bit steep @ $15.99 (but if the cards are free, it is a pretty sweet deal! They are usually $2.49 each + Shipping). So ... if you get one of these in the mail - act surprized! I am not sure why, but I love the idea of a lifetime of momories captured at Easter every year - until he refuses to slip on the bunny ears ;) Easter is usually only a month or a month and a half from MonkeyPants' birthday, so Easter pictures are also an annual "almost birthday" ritual. (this one was taken at home this morning, and I call it "A view from the Potty").

Thursday, 14 February 2013

Happy Valentine's Day

Have a rockin' Valentine's Day!
Wow! It was challenging to get Mr. Monkeypants to cooperate for these pictures - getting him to actually look at the camera is not an easy task ... he is going through an I hate cameras stage, and I have to take about 50 pictures to get one decent shot any time I want a picture
Last year, he was much easier (and since I didn't post his Valentine card last year, I can post it now ... this is a tradition I am hoping I can continue for a while, until he fully, outright refuses to pose!)

Saturday, 9 February 2013

Sock it to me!

I am calling these Turning Over a New Leaf - they represnt a new way of thinking for me. They are a colourway I would not pick for myself, they have the garter stitch short row technique, which I rarely ever use, and garter stitch toes, which is also a really uncommon thing for me … so I am exploring lots of new areas with these socks :) The yarns was a Christmas gift from my husband, with a note written on the yarn label - "Socks for Heddy - some assembley required". I really like them a lot, although when iIunwrapped the yarn, I thought "What the heck is he thinking? Yuck!" LOL! Don't tell him I said that! It knit up into beautifulk socks, and they may well be my favorite socks ever! They are my first "started and finished in 2013" socks (and hopefully, soon, I will have the second pair of "some assembly required" socks finished from the other ball of sock yarn that Tom gave me for Christmas - I have had 2 or three pairs of my favorite socks wear out recently, and need to get several apirs knit for me, so I am back to my normal number of pairs). Details: 2 x 2 ribbed cuff, sock is 3 x 1 rib, with a garter stitch short row heel ( and a garterstitch toe). Very cheery colour way (Austermann Duet - Dahlia Fairisle) although it is not one I would have bought for myself - I tend to go for very bright, "obviously" loud colourways, and this one is far more subtle than I would choose for me. I am really liking it a lot though and am glad Tom is more broad thinking re: colours than I am. I have more to show, and will blog again in a day or two.

Monday, 4 February 2013

Snuggly and warm

I really thought I'd knit more for him than I do ... but really, I haven't had much inclination to knit for Mr. Monkeypants. I was busy with Christmas knitting, and trying to be sure that people who usually receive socks had socks under the tree, so this past year, knit next to nothing for my boy. Then it got cold ... and I got some momma guilt when I realized my little man did not have a scarf or cowl to keep the winter winds from blowing down the back of his neck ... and I went stash diving, then hit Ravellry looking for a suitable pattern for a scarf or cowl for a 2 year old boy. Wee Sophisticate by Molly Bell fit the bill to a T - with a minor modification. I added some ribbing on either end of the cables, just to keep them from twisitng and looking like ruffles at the end of the scarf.
He loves it, and grabs it every time he leaves the house. Really warms the cockles of a knitting momma's heart! I have to knit for Mr. Monkeypants more often, he loves hats, scarves, and mimi's (aka mittens) ... once I get some socks finished!

Wednesday, 2 January 2013

Knits of the New Year

There is nothing like bringing the New Year in with a BANG ... and this year was, well, interesting to say the least! Tom and I spent our New Year's eve as we did last year, snuggled up at home with our wee fellow. The main difference was this year, we were experienced parents! Last New Year's eve was our first overnighter with Mr. Monkeypants ... so exciting (yet a bit sleepless for all of us!). This year, we were all much more used to our rituals, to each other, and we were much more rested to greet the New Year! Mind you ... both years, we did not make it to midnight to ring it in! Ah well, traditions can change! My in-laws came to supper, and brought lobsters! Also, as we've learned with being parents, most exciting times are usually marked by upset or illness - Monkey (since we are all friends here, I will drop the formality), developed a terrible rash on his face and nether regions - almost like a scald, on Jan. 30, so we were trying to get that under control, and he was a bit under the weather for the meal. He has since bounced back, and is fine as kind :) On the knitting front, this was the BANG that greeted 2013 ...
I finished this pair on January 1, 2013 - they are plain old vanilla's with an EOP heel. Yarn is Ketzer On Your Toes (Sunrise colourway) that I got for a steal at Little Knits (10 balls in assorted colourways for $36.00 -- Start the car! Start the car!). They are a ladies size 7-ish, and will go in the bag for birthdays, Christmas, etc. - lucky for me, my MIL, my step mom and my mom all wear the same size, so I can make decisions as to who gets what once I have a number of pairs knit :) I will have more knitting news later!

Sunday, 30 December 2012

a voice from beyond ...

** I found this finished post in my blog archives ... not sure what happened that prevented me from hitting "publish", but better late than never! Well -- where to start! It has been a long time since I posted, but I have not been idle! New baby keeps a new momma busy :) Loving every minute I have been spending with Mr. monkeypants ... and there aren't enough hours in the day to work, play and blog (sorry that the blogging fell to the wayside!). I am going to try to get back to it - today is a flying by post - quick and dirty. A few years ago, I knit the Mochimochi vest - and am happy to say, my picture of it is now a featured photo on the pattern page It is the only photo on the page that is not by the yarn company :) ... pretty cool. Shoot! Gotta fly,

Friday, 28 December 2012

Harvey the Halloween Monster

Last year, before Mr. Monkeypants came to live with us, I was a bit upset that we woul
d not be together for Halloween, and knit him an owl that I sent to him along with some Halloween themed things. In my mind, that was the start of a tradition, so - as Halloween drew close this year, I felt that he "needed" another knitted toy for Halloween. Tom had bought me the Rebecca Danger book of knitted monsters for Christmas last year, so I could make toys for our boy ... so Toma nd I went through it looking for a cute monster to surprize him with. This is based on this pattern, and my Ravelry notes on the project are here. Pretty pleased with how he turned out ... and the boy has him in his crib every night, so I think the response was good:)

Monday, 3 December 2012

Merry Christmas from us to you!