Sunday, July 16, 2017

Year of Projects Update #3 - Pride goeth....

Thank you to all who left comments on my last post. I appreciate your kind words and responses. Last night we went down to our favourite spot to watch the sunset and I know our guy was there with us in spirit.

I did finish (finally) the SlipStichSpiral socks. When you knit socks on 2 mm needles they do seem to take f.o.r.e.v.e.r.

A dear friend and I are knitting the same pattern from my Op-Art book. It is called Alhambra and it is a fairisle pattern.

The cuff starts with a provisional cast-on using a crochet chain. I proudly announced to the room that I knew how to do this and merrily made a crochet chain and then cast-on to the chain.

I knit my 12 rounds and then folded over the cuff to join with the provisional cast-on to make a hemmed cuff.


I clearly hadn't cast on properly because the chain didn't unravel smoothly and I had to clip each chain in order to free the stitch. I did persevere but it took much too long. For the second sock I will cast on being more careful about which part of the crochet chain I pick up.

I did get seven rounds into the fairisle, but it is not an easy pattern to do while listening to family chatting so I put it aside.

I started another square of my Ione and was pleased to get to row 20 before bed. I will finish it sometime today. I am finding each square easier then the one before although I did have to tink back one and a half rows to fix an errant colour change.

I also made a page on this blog with my list of projects for this year's YOP so you can check that out and I will update it when I finish projects and/or add projects to the list.

If you want to follow other yoppers check out the Ravelry group here.

Sunday, July 9, 2017

Year Of Projects - Week Two - Turning the Heel

Sometimes in life all you can do is put one foot in front of the other. You walk.

Sometimes in life you take one more stroke and then one more. You swim.

Sometimes in life you just keep paddling, or rowing, or breathing.

And, sometimes all you can do is cry.

Our family lost a dear man two weeks ago. I was the best man at his wedding. He was the best man to all who knew him.

So here I am, keeping company with those of us in grief, and when I can I pick up my knitting.

There is something soothing about making a stitch, and then another.

My sister and I sometimes knit in silence, sometimes we talk, sometimes we just put our knitting down in our laps and we cry.

I did turn the heel this week.

It took me two tries, and a fair bit of tinking, and except for a tiny hole, which I can fix when I sew in the ends, it is good.

It is better than good.

Because sometimes if you just keep moving forward, even with some backward steps in the middle, you will get to where you want.

My family is not sure where we want to be right now. We know who we would like to be with us, but that is not what the fates had in store.

I know that I can hear his voice as he looks at my sock-in-progress. "You did that?!" he would say.

Yes, I did that. This week, when it seemed that sometimes the ache was too deep, I kept knitting and I turned the heel. And when the socks are finished I will think of him whenever I wear them.

Sometimes carrying on is all we can do.

Sometimes it is the least we can do.

I know he is watching us and sending us signs that it will all be okay in the end.

If it's not okay, it's not the end.

Sunday, June 25, 2017

Year of Projects - Here we go again

Welcome to my opening post for A Year Of Projects - Year 7. (Although only year 2 for me).

This week I finished one of my slipstripespiral socks and I am about 3 inches in on the second sock.

So here goes!


Iona blanket

SlipStripeSpiral socks

In all I want to make a dozen pair of socks this coming year.

Tibetan Socks - a few pairs

Taxi Socks for my son

A pair from my Op-Art Socks book by Stephanie Van Der Linden



Another shawl from The Book of Haps

Doubleknit Potholders

Tree of Life

Zodiac - a couple of these

TPHPE Hot Pads


Seattle Cowl


Wash,Card and Spin my 5 fleeces

Spin hemp I have

Spin Shetland roving in my stash


Dye two skeins of bare yarn


Knit Cowichan style sweater with homespun made with above fleeces

Scottish Ale for my hubby


four pairs


make something with three balls of brown alpaca

made something from all the cotton I have or else give it away!


Knitted Knockers


Hat to match my Dizzy sweater

Leftover fingering odds and ends

Start another (smaller) sock yarn blanket

So that's my list as things stand on July 2, 2017. If you would like to follow other Yoppers or if you would like to join in you can check us out here on Ravelry.

Year of Projects - Final Update #52

Well here we are - the final update of a Year of Projects.

This week I finished the twelfth Iona square which means I am a third of the way done!

I finished my Double Heelix socks

I quickly decided to cast on another sock, again one with lot of new things to learn.

This Slipstripespiral sock started with a new toe (at least for me). Cat Bordhi's Personal Footprint toe.

It also used the idea of Cat Bordhi's Sweet Tomato Heel, but incorporated Japanese short rows which was also a first for me.

I am using the Red Kroy I got from my sister's island free store, and my blue alpaquita. I love this stitch!

I mailed off the Knitter Knockers and am waiting to see if the size is correct. Then I will make another.

Looking back over the past Yopping Year I have the following tallies:

5 hemp Zodiac potholders

Prince Potholder (my design)

15 1/2 pairs of socks

3 shawls

2 blankets

5 illusion knit kitchen cloths

2 sweaters (for me)

6 cowls

4 adult hats

3 baby sweaters

1 pair diaper pants

2 baby hats

2 teddy bears

2 knitted knockers

12 Iona Squares

1 C2C doll blanket

2 crocheted Star Wars characters (Yoda and Stormtrooper)

I am pleased that I was able to blog every one of the 52 weeks. It was so great to read other Yopper's blogs and to meet and make new blogging/crafty friends.

I am looking forward to joining and Yopping along for year 7 starting July 1, 2017. I almost have my list ready.

Stay tuned.

And....if you want to join the fun check out the Ravelry Group here.

Sunday, June 18, 2017

51 Yops - Old dog, four new tricks

First of all Happy Father's Day to all who father in whatever capacity. My dh must have liked the socks I knit him for Father's Day because they were on his feet seconds after he received them.

I know I should have been working on Iona squares this week, and I did get one finished and another started, but then as I was making my list of things to do for next year's YOP challenge, one item became a thing I had to cast on immediately.

I have had the Double Heelix in my list of things to do for years, and the Kroy yarn I received a couple of weeks ago seemed like the right combination. I love fraternal socks - they appeal to my weird sense of symmetry. And the helix? That appeals to the math geek in me.

This sock starts......are you ready for the heel! First new trick.

And to make things really interesting it forms a helix, where the colours chase themselves around the centre using four strands of yarn. This picture is my first attempt which I ripped out and re-did. Second time was better. Third time better still.

Once the heel is done you do a crochet bindoff, and them make a crochet chain bridge (second new trick) so you can go on to knit either the foot or the cuff. These crochet bindoffs are provisional so you can pick up the stitches and knit the other direction seamlessly.

For the first sock I did the foot first, which ends with a short row toe - third new trick.

Then for the leg, it ends with an interlock bindoff - fourth new trick. Thank goodness for Jeny's videos to help me with both the helix heel and the bindoff.

I am almost finished the leg of the second sock and then I will go onto the foot. This means my helixes (is that even a word?) will go in opposite directions. This was a challenge for my left/right issues, but I figured it out with only having to tink back one row of knitting and all the crochet chains to get the helix going in the right direction. (When in doubt follow the directions).

This week I also made a knitter knocker for a dear friend who had a mastectomy earlier this month. I have finished one, and I am making a second a bit smaller. I will mail them off to her, and then make another the size she prefers.

My doctor started me on a new anti-anxiety med and it seems to be helping (fingers and toes crossed, knocking on wood, etc. etc.) Despite both of us having the flu this past week (I think our honorary grand-daughters passed it on to us), things feel lighter somehow. So that is a good thing, even though the team I was rooting for in the Stanley Cup lost. :(

On a personal note I have had a candle lit all week for my dear brother-in-law who is very ill. If you have prayers or angels or a meditation practice I know he and his loved ones would appreciate all the good thoughts sent their way.

Sunday, June 11, 2017

Yopping Update number 50!!

Well I am pleased to announce the completed Dizzy sweater modeled by my dear little blue bear.

and another with Otis doing his best photobomb imitation:

And, no, it isn't blocked yet, but I will....eventually. I think blue bear is going to wear it for a while as is.

And while blue bear was in the mood for trying on things, here is the child's hat I made out of the leftovers from my slouchy hat. It incorporated two different patterns to make this - Mountain Nights and Wurm

and I had to take this top down photo because I really like how the top of the hat looks:

I finished the work socks for my dh. These were made with a lovely homespun from a friend who raises her own shetland sheep. They will be given to him for Father's Day, so shhhhhh, no giving away the secret.

Because of his giant hobbit feet (sans the hair) I had to finish the toes with some leftover Spud and Chloe I had in my remnants basket.

I did finish another Iona square and I am about 1/4 way done on number 10. Only 25 and 1/2 more to go! (This blanket will be number one on my list for the next Year of Projects that starts in three weeks!)

My sister scored me some Patons Kroy sock yarn at the free store on her little island. I will make yet another pair of Tibetan socks with the Red, and I am going to make the Double Heelix with the Grey and Blue. I have had this pattern for ages and I have decided no time like the present to learn something new.

I wish I could report that my anxiety is improving, but alas, no. I have a doctor appointment on Tuesday to discuss how the medication change is working (not) and hopefully he will have some suggestions.

I have been meditating everyday, and thanks to some inspiration from my sister I have been de-cluttering my bedroom and getting some books and clothes ready to send off to good will.

My three honourary grand-daughters are visiting later today and I know their snuggles will help.

Also it is game six of the Stanley Cup tonight , and I, ever the optimist, am rooting for the underdog. Go Nashville Go!

Okay, two more weeks and I will have posted every week on the challenge.

Now, I have to start making my list for next year....

Happy Yopping everyone!

Sunday, June 4, 2017

49 down. 3 to go

It is hard to believe my first year of participation in A Year of Projects is almost over.  I suppose I need to start making my list for the next year. Because yes, I am in for next year.

This week was only about the Dizzy sweater. Front done. One sleeve done.  2nd sleeve half way there.

I am posting this from my phone.  A first.  Hope it works.

Sunday, May 28, 2017

Week 48 - Yopping along

A quick update today.

I have finished eight Iona squares. Two of each colourway for the blanket.


I finished the back of the Dizzy sweater and have about two inches started on the front.

It is going more quickly now that I have memorized the vertical slip stitch pattern. I really like how the wrong side of the pattern looks and I think in the future I will knit a sweater where the wrong side is the right side!

I finally got to my knitting group this past week. With one thing or another I missed about five weeks and I have missed the ladies like crazy. It was an enjoyable, chatty evening as it always is.

On the anxiety front, I have been a) meditating every day, and b) I think the moderate increase in my medication is helping.

I finished my bout of anti-virals for shingles, and I think I caught it early enough that I was over it by the time the anti-virals were done. Whew.

It has been gloriously sunny here the last few days so knitting has taken a bit of a backseat to lying on the deck reading. I just finished a Maeve Binchy novel and I have a John Irving on the docket for today.

Ahhhh. Summer may finally be here.

On the downside, there is a new cat in the neighbourhood and dear Otis is licking his wounds today. I always know when he is feeling poorly because he curls up on the floor in the corner of the living room. This was the place he convalesced last year after fracturing his hip and he only lies there now when something is off. He did eat breakfast, and I don't see anyone cuts, but he is walking stiffly so I will keep an eye on him today - and chase away that darn tawny tom cat if I see him anywhere near our property. He had the audacity to actually walk into our kitchen a couple of days ago. Jeez.

Doesn't Otis look pathetic?

Sunday, May 21, 2017

Yop Yop Yop - Week 47

Wow we are getting close to the end.

I have knit all the things on my list, plus many more, and I have mostly spun all the yarn I had as of last July. I haven't made any more Izzy dolls, but I have made two teddy bears. Does that count? No. But I still have five weeks to go.

Lately I have been tied up in anxiety attacks and oddly enough spinning doesn't help, so the cowichan-style sweater knit out of my fleeces will wait until I am more at ease.

Having said that I did finish the slouchy hat and I have enough yarn left over to make another child sized one.

I have finished three and a half Iona squares. I can knit half of one a day before I get tired of all the cabling.

When that happens I switch to my Dizzy sweater. It is slow going, but I am liking the results so far. My pinks are not quite a match in colour or thickness so I am alternating them.

Hubby's socks didn't get any attention this week, but I did give him the rat pot-holder for his birthday last Wednesday and he loved it.

I did buy a new pattern on Ravelry that has a funny story attached to it. You can read about that adventure here.
And on the baking front I learned to make Brazilian cheese buns which are gluten free because they are made with Tapioca flour.

And, my hoya bloomed for Mother's Day

which was a lovely surprise to compliment the apple blossom my dh put beside the bed for me to see as soon as I awoke last sunday.

To visit other Ravelers who are Yopping you can read about their progress here.

Friday, May 19, 2017

Well of course it was

Sometimes we get caught up in a rebate deal when shopping. My husband arrived home a couple of months ago with two packages of batteries. (ok it was December and we needed batteries for the snoring Santa - don't ask).

The deal was if you sent in the receipt showing the purchase of the two packages you would get a five dollar rebate.

Five dollars people! What's not to like? I can get a latte at my local coffee place for five dollars.

So, I followed all the instructions and what we got was a pre-loaded, on-line only, Visa card with five dollars on it.

Did I mention it was an on-line Visa that we could only use for purchases on-line?

Well, I don't know about anyone else, but I can't think of a time I bought anything on-line for five dollars. And we are talking five dollars Canadian!

So, it languished on my messy desk until yesterday.

Ah-ha, I thought. I will spend it on Ravelry. There are many patterns for sale for five dollars.

But, alas, although this is true, they are almost always five dollars American, and with our dollar being the way it is right now, that priced me out of the market.

Unfortunately you can't search Ravelry for 'patterns that cost five dollars Canadian'.

So I spent a good part of yesterday searching Ravelry patterns. I looked at mitts, hats, baby things and I did find some two dollar patterns, but I am so miserly I wanted to use up as much of the five dollars without leaving, you know, $1.61, or something on the card.

Finally I started to look at illusion-knit cloths, pot-holders, and then finally (why it took me so long, I don't know) I started to check out double-knit pot-holders.

One of the very first ones I found was this

but it couldn't be purchased on Ravelry, only on the designers website.

By then I had figured out that with the exchange I needed to find a pattern that cost $3.50 USD.

I went to the website and the first few on her page were $3.25, $3.75, $4.25, and one was $2.50. All US Dollars.

I clicked on the one I wanted.

$3.50 USD which converts to $4.90 CAD!

The design?

The Tree of Life.

Of course it was.

I have a Tree of Life felted fireplace screen that my Grade Four class made for me many years ago. I look at it every day from where I sit and knit and write. The Yggdrasil Tree from the Norse Myths.

So ya, of course it was.

(And now my husband is trying to figure out how to get that last ten cents off the card)

Sunday, May 14, 2017

Yopping 46 - Yarn chicken ftw!

This week was all about the edging of the baby blanket. Having only 77 gms left I kept weighing what was left, and how far I had to go and my math skills came into play big time.

I finished with less than 1 gm of yarn leftover. Yarn chicken? I WON!

101 pattern repeats - 1212 rows of knitting.

AND I even got it on the blocking mat on Saturday afternoon.

I started a slouchy hat for myself with some beautiful alpaca yarn I got as a present from my eldest sister this week.

This is my second start because my first start was going to be much too big so I frogged it and cast on 18 fewer stitches.

I finally started spinning the 50 gms of hemp I bought over a year ago. It spins like butter - so smooth - which surprised me as I thought it would be like spinning butcher's twine (which is why I think I put off spinning it for so long)

Now I can start to re-focus on my Iona squares. It has been too long.

And my Dizzy sweater is feeling left out too. I won't forget her either.

Happy Mother's Day to all of you who mother. May the force be with you.