Sunday, July 31, 2016

YoP - Sunday update - July 31

This week was all about the socks. I spun this corriedale 3ply yarn during Tour de Fleece and I knew because of the long colour changes that it would suit socks better than going into my homespun shawl. So here they are - TA-DA!

The rest of the week I did some spinning - 40 gms - which I will show next week once it is plyed and I did six more squares on my sock yarn blanket - only 75 squares left to go!

I added to my homespun shawl with my latest spinning so I am now up to row 72 out of the 98 rows of the pattern.

I started the mosaic work on my Six Tastes socks - I have to concentrate as I start each row to remember which colour I am knitting with and which colour I am slipping, but I do love the effect, and the colours I have chosen.

Last, but definitely not least, I celebrated our 39th wedding anniversary yesterday with my dh and our best man. A lovely evening of great food and topped off by watching the Celebration of Light firework display the city was nice to put on for us.

So, I am yopping along and now I have to go read all the other progress posts this week.

If you want to do the same, and you are a Ravelry member then go here.

Friday, July 29, 2016

Titbits and Pokemen

Sometimes life is just too much fun.

I went to my knit group on Thursday night. I am a new fitbit convert and there are a few other fitbitters in the group. They were helping me set up my account, taking my picture for my profile and things like that. They all have the kind that you wear on your wrist. I bought one that you clip onto your bra.

"Oh, we call those tit bits", said one of them, and there we all were in gales of laughter.

So, I have a tit bit.

Who knew?

Then, the conversation got around to Pokeman Go, because one knitter loves to play the game and two others are trying to learn how it works. They were talking about eggs, and incubators, and flying fish.

By then amid the conversation about titbits, and Pokeman, one knitter was convulsing with laughter, which of course is totally infectious.

Oh, yes, we were suppose to be knitting, but at a certain point I think at least half of us had our phones out to either look for Pokemen, or to play with the Dashboard on our fitbits.

We meet in the library, and people kept popping their heads in to see what all the frivolity was about. They seemed incredulous that knitting could be so much fun.

We are thinking of having a Pokeman Go knit night. There seemed to be an awful lot of the little guys we could have tracked down in and around the library. And that way me and my titbit could log some steps!

Who says you can't teach an old dog new tricks.

There was some knitting that got done, but an awful lot of laughter.

And that?

That was a very good thing.

Sunday, July 24, 2016

Yopping along - Week Four

Lots of spinning this week. I am happy to report I spun everyday of the Tour de Fleece, and I spun about 350 gms of fibre. This purple and green took so long to spin the 100 gms, aiming for fingering, but got closer to sport. I chain plyed so to keep the colours separate and now I have decided to knit socks with this.

I called the colourway Royal Meadow, and I am using the sock pattern in Judith MacKenzie's book, The Intentional Spinner.

I finally found a pattern I am happy with for the alpaca sweater that I have frogged twice. I am two repeats in. It will be a long process because it is fingering on small needles, but I will be happy with the finished project. Here is the pattern I am using - and if I don't have enough wool I am sure I can find some more locally.

I have finished the ribbing on the Six Tastes socks - time to start the mosaic. I have never done colour work using the mosaic method so I am excited to learn something new. Old dog, new tricks and all that.

No progress on the Diamond back socks because I have been spinning and casting on new things!

I have finished a small skein which will be knit into my homespun shawl tonight.

And last, but definitely not least, I have done a few more square on my sock yarn blanket. 700 done out of 780 that I need. I really wanted to finish this current row of squares before the end of Saturday but sleep prevailed 2 squares short. (Despite binge watching five episodes of ALONE.)

I also thought I should introduce you to my cohort in all my spinning projects. She is a Nagy wheel from New Zealand, circa 1971 and, well, I am quite smitten with her.

Monday, July 18, 2016

A Year of Projects - Week Three

Well, this week was mostly about spinning - and I am spinning 100 gms fine so it seems to be taking forever.

None-the-less here is my progress. I split it into about 50 - 2 gram slivers (25 of each colour)

and so far so good:

I did manage to spin a little every day so I am still spinning with Tour de Fleece. I plan to chain ply this when I am done (if I am ever done) so that I can keep the colour changes separate.

I knit a section of the sampler shawl with homespun I showed you last week - tada!

I managed a couple of more tiers on the diamondback socks but not enough to warrant a photo. AND, I did cast on another pair of Tour de Sock socks, but when I say cast-on, that is all I've got, cast-on stitches, not even joined the round up yet.

I frogged the sixteen inches of progress on my gray sweater (for the second time) because clearly the alpaca wool and the gauge I was using were not working together. I will now hunt out a new pattern for this yummy soft wool. I knit about four inches at the music festival on Friday afternoon, and then frogged it at the Friday evening concert. My great-nieces thought this was quite fascinating (and I think they thought I had lost a few marbles).

But the piece de resistance was the hemp pot holder (chinese seal for sheep) I started and finished over the thirty hours I spent listening to music at the folk festival on Saturday and Sunday. I was using stash and ran out of hemp before the final border, but hey, it's a pot holder, not something to hang in The Louvre!

Sometimes with great-nieces on my lap!

They seemed impressed with the speed in which I knit so I think I redeemed myself after the whole frogging incident of Friday night!

Sunday, July 10, 2016

A year of Projects - Week Two

This week has been all about spinning because I am participating in Tour de Fleece which is a Ravelry challenge where I am to spin every day the riders are riding. (get it? Tour de France? Tour de Fleece?) I have spun six days in a row, which for me is a record.

I have spun about 100 gms of plied wool. The first bobbin was a two ply,

and the second was a three ply. I had to Chain ply, or Navaho ply, the last bit because two of my bobbins ran out before the third one.

I also plied a small amount of yarn I had on my drop spindle. I used the Andean hand-plying technique which was very quick and easy.

And then I knit with my homespun, because I am knitting a shawl only with handspun.

I also catalogued all my fibre stash so now I know where it is and it is entered into my Ravelry database so I can keep easily keep track of my progress.

This week I also added two more squares to my sock yarn blanket, 685 done out of 780 needed. The end is in sight!

And I got to tier two on my Diamondback socks.

because I am knitting the mate to this


All this amidst missing cat (who is now found), and swimming, and the odd sinkful of dishes!

Stay tuned every Sunday for an update on my Year of Projects. You can see my list by clicking on the featured post on the righthand side of my blog.

Okay, off to spin a little before yoga to add to this that I started last night.

Friday, July 8, 2016

A year of projects

I am joining another blogging challenge. This one is running from July 1, 2016 - June 30, 2017. So, yes, I am already late to the party!

First we are to come up with a list of Knitting or Spinning projects for the year, and then every Sunday blog our progress.

So, here is my list:

Since I am late to the party I will include the project I finished yesterday, but would have been on my list if I had written this July 1.

0) Prince potholder Done

1) I am making another sweater/shawl in a lighter/finer yarn. It is gray with splotches of pink and blue. About 8 inches done on back to date. Update - July 15 - frogged. July 18 - started with different pattern and needles. Done

2) I need to finish the second diamondback sock - a sock made almost entirely of short rows! Done

3) A multi-coloured Elizabeth Zimmerman Baby Surprise Sweater - my second. - done

4) Spin all the fibre I have in my craft room - this is not as daunting as it seems. I have about 700 gms of fibre.

5) Card and spin the fleece I was given a year ago. It is washed - but is languishing in a brown paper bag.

6) Make the Nurmilintu Shawl - done

7) Knit two pairs of plain socks for my dh. His feet are size 9 but very very very very very wide - Done.

8) Finish my sock yarn blanket. It was been on the go since February 2014. I have 685 squares done, out of the needed 780. And then there is the edging! Done

9) Crochet Yoda. - done - and a stormtrooper too!

10) Finish knitting my stitch sampler shawl (see item 4 as I am knitting this shawl with only hand spun. I am on row 42 or 98 rows.) done

11) A purple baby hat for charity. - done

12) One pair of Baby diaper pants - done

13) Hemp potholder - Done July 18

14) A felted yarn bowl - Gave away yarn to little school in small community

15) Zodiac potholders - two done

16) Two pairs of socks for me - one Cookie A pattern - done, and the other Virrat Streams - done because I want to learn the riverbed architecture.

17) More Izzy dolls

added since I started:

18) C2C doll blanket - crochet - Done

19) Mosaic socks -Done

20) Peace Cowl x3 - Done

21) Uncia Shawl with London Loops yarn - Done

22) Charity knit socks for Covenant House - done

23) Illusion knit potholders - Done (6 to date)

24) prepare and spin 3 baby doll fleeces

25) make sweater out of above fleece

26) Tibetan socks out of homespun - done - 3 pairs

27) Double Heelix socks - done

All of these projects I have the yarn or fibre for and I am committed to stash busting until December 31, 2016.
Update - Still no yarn purchases as of March 7, 2017.


Then all bets are off!

Lost and Found

This cat of mine is certainly keeping us on our toes. Two months since his broken pelvis and we decided to let him outside during the day. Sunday and Monday he went in and out, in and out.

Tuesday morning he went out.

And didn't come back.

Not Tuesday night.

Not Wednesday.

Not Thursday morning.

I was up and down the street, and the property, calling and whistling for him.

I was sick at heart.

Last night I went out around 8pm and searched the property and, again, under the neighbour's shed.


I settled on the couch, shed some tears, and picked up my knitting thinking that Game of Thrones would take my mind off this loss.

I was such a bad cat owner.

I shouldn't have let him out.

I should have a collar with ID on him.

I should have gotten him his shots.

Shoulding on myself.

And then?

Then at 9:30, over the mayhem ensuing on the television, I heard him mewing from outside.

I rushed to the back door, and in he came. Wet. Complaining. And very very hungry.

But fine otherwise.

Totally fine.

Where was he? He talks alot (I think he is part siamese) but he is hard to understand.

We have been having lots of cuddles.

I think he is glad to be home.

I am certainly glad he is home.

Stupid cat.

See how I am letting him lie on the blanket I am knitting?

That's how much I missed him.

PS: I miss Prince too and while I was fretting about the missing cat, I finished this.

Tuesday, July 5, 2016

Left and right strike again

I designed a pot-holder with the symbol for The Artist formerly Known as Prince.

I was motoring along last night (while watching Game of Thrones) and this morning decided to take a picture of my progress.

See what I have done there?

Yup I have the symbol in mirror image.

It's suppose to look like this:

So I had to do this:

And then pick up these stitches without twisting them:

So I could get myself reoriented again:

I lost eight rows - but in the process I also altered the pattern to make the curl curlier.

Stay tuned for the finished project. I hope Prince is smiling down on me.

That was much too much to deal with this morning - I am going to go for a swim now - butterfly should be a snap after this and at least both arms move together so left and right shouldn't enter into it at all!

Monday, July 4, 2016

Zazen and Kaizen

Zazen is the practice of sitting meditation. I have been working towards a disciplined routine in this since March - and I have been semi successful but it is something I really want to explore more fully. I have been getting taps on the shoulder from the universe about this, and it is time I sat up (no pun intended) and listened.

So there's that.

At the same time I have been continuing my journey with Total Immersion swimming and the word Kaizen is used in the training books.

Kaizen is a Japanese word that means 'continuous improvement'. It helps me in my swimming sessions to realize that it isn't about reaching a state of perfection, or mastery, but instead working every day to improve. This makes my swims so much more than continuous laps for 48 minutes. I can focus on my hands, my breath, my core, my kick, and each time I am in the pool I can strive to swim better than I have before.

Lately I have been working on my backstroke and breaststroke as well, and yesterday I even started to play around with butterfly.

Imagine that? I have never tried butterfly stroke before, but at 60, well, here I am giving it a whirl.

So these two Japanese words are guiding me this month.

Zazen and Kaizen.

What words are guiding you?

Sunday, July 3, 2016

Not my circus. Not my monkeys.

This has been my mantra the last few days. I don't remember where or when I fist heard this expression but I do like it.

When I start to worry about other people's worries or situations I just recite to myself:

Not my circus. Not my monkeys.

It seems to help.

So today at yoga during Shavasana - I recited it a few times (ok, honestly for the whole ten minutes).

Then in the pool, while swimming laps, I recited it a few more times. Once I started doing drills for my breaststroke, and butterfly that seemed to quiet the monkey mind.

Yoga helps.

Swimming helps

and yes, not my circus, not my monkeys, helps.

Do you have mantras that help when you are fretting about things you can't do anything about?

If so, share.....I could probably use them in the future.

And by probably, I mean, definitely for sure.

Friday, July 1, 2016

Am I still here?

I am feeling incredibly sad today. Maybe because we have been away from home for a week and I am homesick.

Maybe because I send messages out into the great internet void and only hear silence.

Maybe because I think I am losing my mind, or my memory.

Maybe because I don't know which way to go.

It doesn't really matter.

Sad is sad.

So I will knit.

And watch mindless tv.

And look forward to tonight when three little girls will make be feel so very special.