Sunday, September 17, 2017

Yopping Update Twelve - A buddy for the bookworm

This post will be short and sweet and to the point.  I just got home from travelling all day, and I am leaving for more travelling tomorrow so I am tired and my cat needs cuddles.  Let's begin:

Here is my Antarktis off the blocking mat.

I am so happy with this sparkly project:

I did get my Yukon Hococo sewn together - oh my there were soooo many ends to sew in once he was all put together.

But I did it!

I made my sister promise to talk me out of any more little knitted animals - but then she gave me this book.  (She is not to be trusted!)

So maybe - after the Iona is done...... 

I resisted casting on anything new after Hococo was done and I went on to complete six more squares of the Iona.  I have entered a WIP down to finish her by the end of October.   Ack!  I think I can do it. It takes me about one evening per square - and I only have fourteen more to go! (Well, then there is the putting it all together part, too).

I really want to finish her because I am certain I will have quite a lot of left over wool from it and I can't wait to knit other things with the beautiful colours of this very smooshy bluefaced leicester  wool.  I am sure I have mentioned before that bfl wool is my absolute favourite.

This bfl has been dyed by Kinfolk Yarns - her colours are so fantastic - she is a true artist with those dye pots.

If you are a spinner/weaver/knitter/crocheter do you have a favourite wool and/or yarn company?

So that is my week - I was away for the weekend and just got home so I am quickly getting this post done before bed.

We are off for a camping trip tomorrow - but the Iona is perfect camping knitting.  Small and portable.

And yes, there is still no picture of the test knit - but a little birdie told me that probably next week. 

Stay tuned.  I can't wait to share her with you. 

To follow other yopper bloggers go here. Their posts are always an inspiring and entertaining read. 

Sunday, September 10, 2017

Yopping Eleven - Finished Objects

First of all the secret test knit is still under wraps but it is done and I can't wait to show it to you.

(Get the pun - under wraps?  Cause it is a shawl....oh never mind.)

But, not yet!

After the big finish I went back to poor Mr. Bookworm, who, if you remember, I had left all in  pieces!

So I started:

This first pic is somewhat x-rated and rude comments abounded in my house.

This sat on the coffee table for a day or so and my husband plaintively asked WHAT was I knitting.

Things improved with a few accessories.

And by the time he had on all his clothes (and his arms) he was almost done!

The pince-nez spectacles were the final touch!

See the cute detail of words on the pages of his book?

Also I checked on Ravelry and I think I am the first and only person to have made this pattern.  

So once he was all put together I returned to my Antarktis shawl which I finished with zero yarn left over.  I had to fudge the bind off of the last fifteen or so stitches, but it looks fine.

Here she is on the blocking mat before blocking. The headache I have had off and on all week really took a turn for the worse on Saturday so no blocking happened.

So now that was done I started to knit all the rest of the pieces for Hococo the Lemur.

Once knitted I couldn't bear the thought of starting to put it together (my least favourite task) so I knit another twenty rows on my sixteenth Iona square that has been ignored for far too long.

I swear once this lemur is sewn together and stuffed I will:

a) not knit any fiddly toys that required sewing together for quite some while, and

b) get back to my Iona blanket before I (God help me) cast on these really cute socks in the Simply Knitting magazine that Mr. Bookworm came from. Oh, and there is a really cute sweater in there too!

So there is my week.  Three finished objects, and plans for new cast-ons.  (Don't tell my Iona.)

I will leave you all with a link to The Knitting Song  which I discovered this week.

And the link to follow other Yoppers who are as crazy as me - some even crazier as this is their seventh year of yopping along.

Sunday, September 3, 2017

Yopping numéro dix - Knitting and pickles

Oh my goodness people - I have been knitting, really!  Every single day but no pictures yet so be patient.  I will finish the test knit this week as I am on the border and have probably two more days of knitting to go.  Then blocking!!

I am loving this pattern and the yarn I am using so I am excited to share it with you once the pattern is published.

I have also been making pickles this week.  Silly me because yesterday was such a hot day and between sterilizing bottles, making the mustard sauce and then sealing the bottles in a hot water bath my kitchen was probably a million degrees.  (That is likely a gross exaggeration).

Here is my progress as of yesterday afternoon.

And here is this morning's work - much easier process and all done before the house got too hot.

I decided that 3 1/2 pints is not nearly enough onions so I went out this morning early and bought four more pounds.  Tomorrow I will get up early and finish them up.

If you want to read more about my mustard pickles and why it is so important for me to do this each year you can read yesterday's post.

It has been a good few days.  On Friday I went to the Pacific National Exhibition with a good friend I have know since Grade Three and we walked and talked and took in the sights.

I haven't been able to go swimming while I wait for my tattoo to heal but I think I will be in the water again by Tuesday.  I miss the pool, but I love my tattoo so it is all worth it.

So that is my week:  secret knitting, canning pickles, and visiting with good friends.

To follow my yopping friends check out their posts here.

Saturday, September 2, 2017

Mustard Pickles

I started making a batch of mustard pickles yesterday.  It is my grandmother/aunt's recipe and as I was cutting up the vegetables to put into the brine I felt so connected to those two women.

As I sliced each stalk of celery, peeled each small silverskin onion, handled each tiny dill pickle and cut the cauliflower into flowerets I though of how many gallons of pickles they had made over the years.

My aunt taught my sister and daughter and me how to make the pickles about twenty years ago.

She taught us before her dementia had truly taken her from us, and that day in her little kitchen is one I hold dear to my memory.

I have only been making them for a few years but I remember the first time I made the pickles on my own I had wished I had paid more attention to the smaller details, but still, and all, my pickles taste like hers.

Last year for the first time I decided to also make their pickled onions.  I only made six jars but every time I opened one and tasted the first onion it reminded me of their preserves cellar, their cold cupboard, their warm kitchen.

To be honest those pickles just tasted like home. And love.

I am going to spend today sterilizing bottles, blanching the vegetables, making the mustard sauce and putting up the pickles for the winter just as Granny and Georgie did numerous times.

And tomorrow I will do the onions.

I am using their stoneware crock, their hand-written recipe and their love is infused in it all.

And also, I didn't forget

My father died forty-four years ago yesterday.  My grandmother was his mother.  My aunt was his sister.  And in starting those pickles yesterday, for a brief moment, I had them all in my little kitchen.

Sunday, August 27, 2017

Yopping Number Nine - All about the purple

This week I have been exclusively working on my testknit for Knitterarium so no pictures until the pattern is released.

I have finished the first section in the lilac purple, and I am on row 12 of the lace section (darker purple) now.  I am up to 395 stitches and each row adds four more stitches.

Needless to say each row takes me a good part of an episode of Scott and Bailey.

It is a lovely knit, the pattern is easy to follow and I have all my stitch markers in so I can see when I have forgotten or added an errant yarn over.

Sometimes I muck up the CDD and have to go back and fix it.  I am working with lace yarn and I wish my needles were a little pointier, but so far so good.

Of course when it comes to blocking I might find a few mistakes but it will all be good in the end.

The big news this week is Monday's eclipse which I blogged about here.

It was a lovely morning spent with my dh.

And, yes, I did get my tattoo on Wednesday.


To understand why this symbol has such a strong meaning for me you can read my post here.

Or another one here

So that's it for me.  No pictures of knitting but lots of knitting has been done.

I promise.

To follow other yoppers you can check out their week's progress here.

Wednesday, August 23, 2017

HodgePodge Wednesday - It has been a while

I haven't HodgePodged in a while and this seemed like a good week to start back, so here goes:

1. Did you watch the solar eclipse? Your thoughts? Sun Chips, Moon Pies, Starburst candies, a Blue Moon beer, a Sunkist orange, or a Milky Way candy bar...what's your favorite eclipse related snack on this list?

I did watch the eclipse and I blogged about it here.

Hmmm.  Probably the Milky Way bar - if it comes in dark chocolate.  I hate sun chips, I have never had a Moon Pie, Starburst candies are ok - ish.  I don't even know what a Blue Moon beer is, and I do like oranges except I don't like that they leave you with sticky fingers.

2. What are you 'over the moon' about these days? What's something you enjoy doing every 'once in a blue moon'?

I am over the moon about my new tattoo.

To read about why this symbol is so important to me you can read my blog from April 2016 here.

I guess I like getting a tattoo once in a blue moon - this is my second after six years. 

3. Tell us about something in the realm of science that interests you. How do you feed that interest?

I love geeky science.  Yesterday while watching the eclipse we were playing around with the pinhole camera.  The physics of it still fascinates me.  I love flora and fauna.  I love growing things, and watching the birds at our feeder and discovering animals on our camping trips.

4.  What are a few things you remember about going back to school as a child.

First day of school photos taken by my parents in the front yard.  The covers they would give us to cover all our textbooks.  The new school supplies.  I loved the newness and freshness of the new beginning of each school year - both as a student, a parent and a teacher.

5.   I've seen several versions of this around the net so let's make one of our own...share with us five words that touch your soul and briefly tell us why.

Rain on the camper roof.

I was diagnosed with a chronic illness when I was 48 years old.  That is almost 14 years ago It is all good now, but at the time we were not sure what the outcome would/could be.  After the diagnosis my husband asked me what I wanted to do with whatever time I had.  My answer was I want to be in the camper with you listening to rain on the roof.   Rain on the camper roof always makes me feel safe and loved,  warm and secure.

6.  Insert your own random thought here.

My brain is filled with so many random thoughts these days.  I wanted to answer 'Don't sweat the small stuff' for question 5 but I am not very good at following that advice.  But now I have thought of it again I will try to keep it more to the forefront.

DSTSS  was engraved on a watch my husband gave me many years ago.  You would think I would have learned it by now!

To see other hodgepodge posts click here

Tuesday, August 22, 2017

Partial eclipse of the Heart

He really wanted to be there. There being the path of totality of yesterday's eclipse.
I really wanted us to be there, for him.
But life got in the way.
Life seems to too often get in the way.

It made me so sad that he wasn't going to get there.  Not this time.  I shed more than a few tears about it.  He assured me that it was ok.  It wasn't meant to be.  There is another in 2024 and by God we will go to Mexico, or South America or wherever we have to be to see it.

I tried to find eclipse glasses in my neighbourhood (and further afield) but they were all sold out.

Bummer. I was heading to bed on Sunday night, himself was on a youtube channel about how to make a safe eclipse viewer.

We had the binoculars, the tape, the scissors, and the tripod.

So we set the alarm for 7:30am.  After coffee and breakfast we loaded the above ingredients plus chairs, hats and sun cream into the car.

Our house has too many trees to see the morning sun clearly so we headed to my school's playground.

No-one was there.

So we set up our contraption:

And spent the next two hours watching it unfold.

 Artsy shot - very alien planet with two suns.
 Nature getting in on the act on the wall of the school

 at peak - 88% covered
 nature played along as the moon kept up its journey across the sun's face

It got much cooler, and the colours around us changed as the sky darkened just a little.

For most of the time it was just the two of us sitting side by side - texting with our son one province over, my sister three islands away, and our daughter a continent away sharing our pictures and experiences.

For a brief moment we were all together thanks to a natural phenomenon.

Just after the peak a number of my colleagues came out of a meeting for their coffee break and watched our set-up.  One fellow had the special glasses so my husband and I could get a look at the sun in the sky - it was something else.

But mostly it was a day like many others where we shared an experience, together, alone. Like this:

It was a good day.

And my son, who loves hedgehogs, topped it off with this:

and then this morning I found this for my sister (who loves sea turtles).

Sunday, August 20, 2017

Yop Update eight - Nothing to see here

The title of this blog might be a tad misleading.  I don't have any finished objects to show but that doesn't mean there hasn't been knitting, and other things.

I have finished all the pieces of Monsieur Bookworm, but alas he is languishing in a pile of pieces waiting to be sewn together.

And because I didn't feel up to sewing him together (such fiddly work) I start the Lemur and got his body done


I felt the urgent need to cast on my Antarktis with my new MaryAnnes Sparkle yarn.

And then, since I just felt the need for a challenge I signed up for Knitterarium's latest test knit, which meant I HAD to go buy some lace yarn for the contrasting colour to the lace I showed you last week.

I hand wound the lace I got last week - 1200 yards - and it took me the good part of an hour.  My yarn winder doesn't like large balls of lace so the is why the hand-winding.  On the plus side I know what I am asking my husband to get me for my next birthday!

I have finished the first repeat and I am half way through the second, but I can't show you my progress because it is a secret until the pattern is published.  The deadline  is September 11, so that will be my focus this coming week.

So that is my week - a little of this, a little of that.

Oh, and I got my haircut.  Nice and short for swimming. There is a new pool close to my house that is fantastic.  I am getting to the pool every other day for a good mile swim.  I love it.

I also bought a swim-buddy so my husband can keep track of me when I head out on a lake or in the ocean.

It is tied around my hips and floats behind and above me so boaters , paddlers, but mostly my husband, can see me from afar.

And I finally booked an appointment for a tattoo next week which I will unveil to you next Sunday.  I have wanted this particular tattoo for about 16 months - and, well, no time like the present.

Let's see, what else?

We picked 33.5 pounds of apples off of our tree last night - so I will be freezing apples for winter pies (and eating lots just as they are).

So there is my week.  I guess the title was a tad ironic!  To follow my other wonderful yopping companions click here