Monthly Archives: December 2008

When I was in high school, I briefly got into knitting. I knit a couple of things and then started a sweater and managed to finish it in first year university (it was lovely and I wore it for several years but have no idea where it went). Then I put down my knitting needles and promptly forgot all about it for nearly 2 decades.

A year or so ago I went to a fair at a Waldorf school near my parents’ place and picked up a little learn-to-knit kit (a little ball of yarn rolled by the kids, some needles made by the kids, and instructions). Then I promptly forgot about it. Well, we went away for a week this fall, and I took the kit and knit a few little tiny scarves for some teddies. Then at the Royal Agricultural Winter Fair last month, I picked up some lovely Topsy Farms yarn. Topsy Farms is a sheep farm out on Amherst Island near Kingston, Ontario. I’ve had the pleasure of visiting once and hope to do so again with the kids in a year or two. I’ve been the happy recipient of a Topsy Farms blanket and lambskin (after my first son was born and we still use it all the time), and bought blankets as gifts but never yarn. The yarn is great. So I’ve been knitting up scarves for all the boys (not for myself. My brother knit me one a few years ago and I love it) and am in the process of knitting up a hat to be felted. Also I’ve started an afghan. So I’ve acquired a few sets of needles.

The other domestic thing I’ve been doing is hemming store-bought and making my own curtains. We’ve had blinds on most of the windows since we bought the place and a) they’re ugly b) they don’t keep the light out and c) they don’t insulate like thick curtains do. I finally found the time to get my second-hand sewing machine working and sewed up curtains all around!

So I had some extra fabric from the hemmed curtains and a nice piece of accent fabric from a bag of fabric I got from freecycle and tonight I whipped up a roll-up for my knitting needles. Waste not want not and all that…


So last year (summer 2007, I think) we had a new smart meter installed by Toronto Hydro-Electric. It hasn’t actually affected anything yet, but soon we’ll see the different rates for different times of the day.

So as a money saver and an attempt to put less strain on the grid when most of us are, I’ve gotten into the habit in the past month or 2 of putting a load of laundry into the washer right after putting the boys to bed (no, not every night) and into the dryer (yes, I hang laundry to dry in the summer but until the basement is no longer a construction zone it’s the dryer in winter) when I go to bed. We have always run the (full) dishwasher (without heat-dry) when we go to bed.

Now I’m going to go off topic (to this post) and have a little rant here:

The City of Toronto has decided that they are in fact adding plastic bags to their recycling program but ONLY plastic grocery and retail bags. I understand that they can’t trust that every citizen is going to be as responsible as we are and actually wash out and dry every milk bag they use but why bother recycling the bags that are the easiest to avoid (bring your own bag) and the most commonly reused (if only to line people’s garbage and green bins)? They’re also going to get retailers to start charging for those bags as of June 1, 2009, so that will reduce usage as well…

Arrrgh! So now I have a basement full of non-recyclable plastic bags that have to be slowly added to my extra small sized garbage bin…

Now the good news:

A little follow-up to our gift-free party: It was a great success! Our four year old was very happy and had a great time at the party and understands the significance of the Unicef gifts. The parents of the kids were really happy and involved their children in selecting the gifts. One parent even bought the “Gifts of Magic” for most of their Christmas gifts!