Sunday, January 29, 2017

Yop Update 31 - Finishitis

I am not certain that 'finishitis' is a word, but it certainly describes my week.

I finished my doubleknit hat (which I turned into a cowl) so fit wouldn't be an issue.

And then the Nurmilintu came of the needles, picot edging and all.

Next off the needles with an i-cord cast off was my 3rd Peace Cowl. I am seriously addicted to this pattern.

And then, because yesterday I had time and motivation, I finished....drum roll please...the scottish hap Uncia:

Of course this coming week will involved A LOT of blocking, but I am up for that.

So for my January Stash-Down I have knit 616 gms from my stash! 502 gms of that is fingering weight so I am well ahead of schedule for my fine yarn de-stash challenge for 2017.

This coming week will be all about the three pairs of socks I currently have on the needles from my 'startitis' binge two weeks ago.

And I will start another cowl with the leftover yarn from my uncia. Pattern TBD but I am leaning towards another peace cowl.

To see what other yoppers are up to visit here.

Sunday, January 22, 2017

Yopping 30

I have been steadily working on four projects this week. I am happy to report that I am keeping up on the eight rows a day on my Scottish Hap and finished row 340 last night. I WILL be done before the end of the month. I have learned to cable without a cable needle so that is making the rows go much faster.

Mostly this week I have been working on my double-knit hat. It is slow going, but at least now I can read my knitting and don't have to look at the chart and the instructions every time I come to a direction to increase or decrease or cable.

I think it will be a bit too big for me, but I am going to find a decorative button to put on the brim to cinch it up a bit. I was worried I wouldn't have enough yarn to finish this, but now I am certain it will all be well. This is definitely a pattern where you have to 'trust the pattern' and 'follow the instructions' and since the pattern comes from a Craftsy class I bought a few years ago, I had to re-watch some of the instructions to remember that good piece of advice!

I also have Alisdair Post-Quinn's book EXTREME DOUBLE KNITTING, and so for the first few rounds of the pattern I had to have it handy as a reference. Both his Craftsy class, and his book are fantastic if you are into double-knitting. He takes it to a whole new level.

I love this colour combination. The teal is some possum yarn from New Zealand that my son gave me a few Christmases ago, and the Cinnamon is an Ancient Arts dk yarn. Ancient Arts is one of my very favourite yarn companies. And they are Canadian to boot!

My third peace cowl is at repeat number nine AND i just found a little bit more of the leftover DROPS alpaca I am making it out of so I think it will be a good size once all the yarn is used up.

Lastly I am on the last lace repeat of my Nurmilintu. I am just knitting until the homespun is used up, and then it needs a good washing to soften it up and to get rid of some of the lanolin, and of course a vigourous blocking. It is harsh wool to knit with, but I have a sweater made from the same wool and washing softened it considerably. On the plus side working with this wool by hands are sooooooo soft!

So that is my week - despite having the flu for two days of it!

I am off to my writer's group now. I had an epiphany the other day. If I was a serious writer I would wake up every morning and want to write. I would want to finish this editing my novel and get it published. Right?

However, I am a serious knitter. I wake up wanting to knit, and when I am out and about doing errands or visiting I often think about how I will knit as soon as I get home. I think 'I should go for a swim, because when I get home I CAN KNIT." Or maybe I am a serial knitter?

Serious knitter. At about eight or so hours a day - I would say so!

I would love to hear in the comments things you are passionate about that take up lots of your time and still you wish there were more hours in the day.

Sunday, January 15, 2017

Yopping #29 - Startitis!

I did get two things finished this week, which is good because....well....I will fill you in further down in this post.

Turkish Bed Socks are done - very sweet pattern.

And my 2nd peace cowl is done and ready to be gifted.

The Scottish Hap is motoring along. I am currently on row 285 having completed charts D and E this past week. I discovered on Monday that KnitCompanion now has an Android version and once I loaded it onto my phone keeping my place in the charts is much easier.

At this rate I only have to knit 7 rows a day to be finished by the end of January.

Which is a good thing because....

On Friday and Saturday I decided I HAD to cast on ALL THE THINGS.

It started because I didn't have any sport weight yarn (or so I thought) to knit a pair of socks that are on my to-do list. I went to my knitting group (which is held in a yarn store) and found the perfect Sweet Georgie yarn. Unfortunately (or fortunately?) the computer was down and they couldn't tell me how much it cost, and even if they could I couldn't have bought it because...their computer was down.

So on Friday, I started to look through my stash, which I have meticulously added to Ravelry, and lo and behold I had enough dk yarn to make the socks. Bonus!

However, clearly looking through my stash and my queue and my to-do list from this challenge got me to thinking about whether I had yarn for other (now seemingly) very important things I wanted to knit.

I know what you are thinking, Dear Readers. You are thinking I am procrastinating on the Hap. But no, really I am not.

So I found the perfect yarn in my stash to knit the Cookie A socks I have been wanting to knit since buying her book on sale, oh let's say, two years ago.

I had spun some yarn last July and had ear-marked it for my favourite Cat Bordhi pattern, Tibetan socks, and, well, it didn't seem fair to not cast them on since I was casting on things that had come to mind much more recently.

Did it stop there?

No it did not.

I had already promised myself to always have a peace cowl on the needles this year - and the leftover Drops Alpaca was just lying there begging to be cast on.

Then for some reason, on Friday, I just HAD to start a doubleknit hat for myself. I had made a baby version three years ago and I still had the leftover yarn, and it was enough for an adult size so.....

These projects are in addition to the 'mindless' knitting I started early in the week - the Nurmilintu - with some Handspun I had been gifted years ago. I had made a sweater out of it, and I had two balls left, and well, the rest, as they say is history.

I called my sister to confess what I now was feeling was some sort of manic episode, but at the point I called her nothing was actually casted on, just earmarked with wool, and pattern and needle.

But then last night I decided to make sure everything was cast on before bed.

And I was going to do them all differently.

The Virrat Streams socks I had decided were going to be done on a nine inch circular. I have never tried this and so why not? Of course I didn't have the 9 inch circular and so this facilitated a trip to the yarn store. (Hey, I didn't buy the 28 dollar skein of Sweet Georgia, so a 13 dollar needle seemed practically free!)

The Cat Bordhi socks are being done on my Addi FlipStix dpns. I love these needles. They are very colourful, very light and one end has a lace point and the other a more rounded point.

The Cookie A socks I am knitting TAAT using magic loop.

So that's it for my week.

Two finished objects and seven on the needles.


To be fair four of them are on my Year of Projects to-do list.

Also I am involved in a stash-down competition this year to de-stash 6000 gms (3000 of which I promised would be fingering weight or finer).

So that is my week.

Everything cast on and ready to go:

Am I mad?

Maybe a little.

But hey, the Lemony Snicket Netflix series is fantastic. My back is sore and sitting on the heating pad and knitting is relatively pain free. (Unlike any of my other favourite activities).

As soon as I post this I will do eight rows of my Hap and then?

Then it is anybody's guess.

Thursday, January 12, 2017

Aunt sounds like Ant

I am sixty-one years old.

When I was growing up I had a myriad of Aunties.

My children have Aunties.

I even am a Great Auntie to six Great-Nieces and Nephews.

Always, always, always I pronounced Auntie like this:


Suddenly I have noticed that the vernacular, all around me, is to pronounce this word Awntie.

What? Why?

At first I blamed American television.

I have a good friend who was born in Iowa and he always pronounced it that way.

But then, yesterday, as I was listening to CBC radio - that is the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation, the host, who is from eastern Canada, said the word Aunt - pronounced Ant, and then he corrected himself and said Awnt.


When did this become a thing?

It still rings wrong in my ears every single time I hear it.

So ya, this is a pet peeve of mine, and I won't succumb to peer pressure.

If you meet me and I talk about my dear Aunt Georgie, you will hear Ant Georgie.

And what about Antie Mame? I never heard her referred to as Awntie Mame.

Just know, Dear Readers, when I write about Aunties, I am hearing Anties in my head.

My title to my nieces and nephews - great and otherwise is:

Auntie Mary-Anne (or Auntie Mary-Mann) pronounced Antie.

Just saying!

Mic drop.

Sunday, January 8, 2017

Yopping Update #28

I don't have much to report - one finished object - my Runic hat which has come in very handy this week what with the cold snap we are in.

My Scottish Hap is coming along, I need ABSOLUTE peace and quiet to work on it, putting in life-lines every eight rows or so. Counting the stitches after every row. But I figure if I can keep up with about 8 rows a day I'll be finished by the end of the month.

My 2nd peace cowl is my peaceful knitting and I am loving how it looks. I already have a recipient in mind to gift this one to.

I finished one turkish bed sock and I am 1/2 way through the 2nd. This is a fun knit, simple, and yet I have learned a new construction. The pattern and wool was a gift from a student I had for four years and we have maintained a good friendship since over the past five years.

This week I also had lunch with another student I had for six years. It was so great to catch up with her, reminisce about our years together and delight in her progress at art school She is very talented and I am proud to say I knew her when. I have one of her drawings beside my bed.

Stay tuned. We will be hearing more from her in the years to come.

Swimming was a bit kiboshed this week because I have an ear infection. Really? On top of my sore back, now I have an ear infection?

Good news - I don't have osteoporosis.

Bad news - So why do I have three compression fractures and such a sore back?

Good News - I am being sent to a back specialist for further investigation.

Bad News - I have to do weight bearing exercise and swimming doesn't count.

Good News - I like to walk.

Bad News - It is fricking cold outside!!

So today I will wrap up on the couch with blankets to keep warm, a heating pad on my sore back, ear drops for my ear infection and knit ALL DAY.

Have a great week Dear Readers.

It can only be up-hill from here!

Monday, January 2, 2017

Changing my header

As I posted my New Year's blogpost on facebook, my blog description jumped out at me.

Well, not the whole description, just the word depression.

It didn't sit well with me.

"Thoughts on an empty nest, depression, love, hope, faith, grace, humour and chronic illness. Not necessarily in that order".

Not necessarily in that order, and yet that was the order I listed them.

It took me a while to find where that description was - and then I changed it.

Thoughts on the second half of a life. A life that includes swimming, knitting, love, hope, faith, grace, humour and depression."

I know that depression is still in there. But it isn't front and center anymore.

I don't want it to be front and center anymore.

I am more than that.

And maybe, just maybe, part of healing is to change how I describe myself.

It's the little things.

I don't describe myself as someone living with chronic illness anymore, even though 'technically' I do.

I don't describe myself as someone living with chronic pain, even though I currently am.

I do have so much love in my life.

I do have faith.

I do experience grace in my life.

I do have humour and can see the glass half full most of the time.

I have hobbies I love, friends I love, family I love.

Depression is there too, in and around and amid all the other things, but it is not the only thing. It is not what describes me even though it is part of me.

So yes, I have changed my header.

I am going to change the headers I give to others too.

I believe changing those headers can change people.

I really do.

If I expect the worst of another they won't disappoint me.

I believe if I think the best of another it can only help.

My thoughts, our thoughts, are powerful things.

Our words are powerful things.

Sharing the negative images, and negative words of another, only strengthens the negativity.

"Mind is the Master power that moulds and makes,
And we are Mind, and evermore we take
The tool of Thought, and, shaping what we will,
Brings forth a thousand joys, a thousand ills: —
we thinks in secret, and it comes to pass:
Environment is but our looking-glass."

James Allen, As A Man Thinketh (1902).

What if I, we, stopped sharing the mean or intolerant things people said or did, and only shared the kind, and the tolerant.

Would it make a difference in my life.

In the world.

I think so.

Sunday, January 1, 2017

Update 27 - Happy New Year

Here it is. January 1st. Update for week 27 - Year of Projects.

I am up early, watching the sun rise over the snow covered trees. It snowed all day yesterday and it is so incredibly beautiful outside my window.

I finished 2016 with three wips still on the needles, and so many plans for the next six months of this yopping/blogging challenge.

The Runar hat designed by Lucy Hague

The Younger Futhark runes spell out, in Old Norse, ‘Þórr vígi, Þórr síði’ (May Thor bless, May Thor protect).

Since my dh and I are such big fans of the Viking series this beanie seemed perfect for me to wear while winter camping. I have used alpaca from my stash and it is going to be very warm.

I have finished the lining and the runes and so it will be easy (netflix) knitting to complete the body and decrease of the hat.

The Uncia Hap also designed by Lucy Hague.

This pattern takes ALL my concentration but I have finished Chart B. On Friday I spent about three hours knitting, then tinking and then knitting again two rows. Thank goodness for lifelines is all I can say. If the house is quiet and I have no interruptions I can make pretty good progress. After I finish posting this I will start on Chart C (the third of eight charts) before my husband wakes up. Wish me luck.

I started a peace cowl and knit four rows (one repeat) every day. I finished my fourth repeat just before midnight last night. I am using some beautiful BFL left over from a shawl I knit last year and it is going to be lovely.

My first time doing an i-cord cast-on and I love the look of it.

So, here I sit, the candles of my carousel are lit

The unicorn is nestled among the Advent Wreath

and the view outside is just getting better and better.

May the rest of 2017 be as peaceful and beautiful as these first few minutes.
And may we all have time
and love
and hope.