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

Sunday, August 13, 2017

Update 7 - Meet Anxious Bunny

So I finished the bunny on Wednesday.  I tried for two hours to get her mouth to have a happy expression but it just wasn't working - so - meet my anxious bunny. Sad in the comfy deck chair...

She is very cuddly and the perfect use of my alpaca yarn.

Now I am on a soft toy kick and I have started an Alan Dart pattern from the same magazine as the Unicorn and the Bunny.  Prof. B. Wormington.  He is a book worm and I am almost finished the body.  Nice mindless knitting (although I image the little eyeglasses and professor's tasseled mortar board are going to be tricky).
I also spent an afternoon looking at and resisting buying more Alan Dart patterns from his website, but oh my the Noah's Ark and Advent Tree and Nativity Scene are much too cute.

I did find a pattern for HOCOCO, the lemur, a free Alan Dart pattern for charity and it will be perfect for the rest of my brown alpaca.

I finished washing my friend's fleece and received some lovely yarn to make the Antarktis Shawl on my list.

Can you see the name of the yarn?  It was meant for me all along!

I also got a skein of 1200 yards of light purple lace weight from her stash.  Oh the possibilities are endless.

I have washed some baby doll fleece for myself, but I haven't yet followed up on that drum carder.

Last night the rain's finally came and washed the smoke out of the sky.  Today has been a lazy day as we are recovering from having one set of guests for breakfast, another set for lunch and then going out to listen to my brother's band play at a bar last night.

And to top of our Saturday experience we came home around 11:30 to find a big black bear in our neighbour's front yard, right beside where we parked our car.  Eek!

So that is my week.  If you want to follow other yoppers check out their progress here.  

I will leave you with another look at the oh so sad bunny.  Sad out of the comfy deck chair....

Sad in the living room (but to be fair I wouldn't let her watch the television).

Sunday, August 6, 2017

Yopping Update Numero six

So the socks are done.

and the unicorn is all sewn together.

I finished the 15th square of the Iona and for a brief moment in time I had nothing on my needles!

Ack!  That wouldn't do so I started another stuffed toy.  A bunny that was in the spring Simply Knitting insert called Quick and Easy Toy Knits.

It is the perfect pattern to use up some brown alpaca I have for the body and I have some white cascade for the tummy and inside of the ears and paws.  It is going to be very cute.

I can't post a picture of it because at this point I have a head and body, two arms, the tail and one leg. So be patient dear readers as I am sure he/she will be on show next week

The big news of my week is that a dear dear friend of mine gifted me with 1625 gms of fibre!!!! Yes, that is correct.  Some is in the fleece stages, some is undyed fibre and some is dyed fibre.  There is even some silk hankies or mawatas (which I had to google).  Oh my goodness I was so excited that I decided to organize my craft room so I could find places for all of it.

Organizing my craft room somehow led me to cleaning out the carport and taking two loads to the recycling depot and one load to the dump.  Only one item from the craft room was in those three loads - but it seemed that the de-cluttering on the one room got me going to others.  I have another large box ready to send to goodwill as well.

Yesterday I finally dismantled a broken double bed that has been half dismantled for quite some long time, and I set up the good double bed and re-arranged the downstairs bedroom into quite a lovely
guest room space.

Now the carport has a broken bed, broken bedside table and other assorted bits and pieces to go out with the next dump run.  I even organized all my gardening tools and swept the carport!

As my husband would say:  "I think your new meds are working!"

Yesterday I started to wash some alpaca fleece for another friend who is going to pay me in something yummy from her copious yarn stash.  I can't wait to go 'shopping' at her house.  I already received two partial skeins of Plucky yarn from her that were leftovers from two of her latest projects. I think there is enough to make another pair of socks from the Op-Art book.

I bought a sweater drying rack on Friday at Bed, Bath and Beyond which will be perfect for drying fleeces as it will allow airflow from the bottom and the top.  The alpaca will get the first go at it.

On Thursday at my knit group I learned that some wool stores rent out their drum carders.  This is fantastic news because I have soooooooo much fleece to card and hand carding it would take be forever.  I will keep you posted on my investigation into this possibility.

So that has been my week.  The smoke is pretty bad here on the westcoast and my dh and I both seem to be experiencing headaches from it but at least today the temperatures were much cooler.

If you want to check out what the other wonderful yoppers have done in the past week head here.

Friday, August 4, 2017

Sometimes you can't fix the broken things

I spent half a day trying to repair a wooden laundry rack that had been my mother's.  It was a bit of a monkey puzzle, and for the dyslexic in me there was a lot of challenge.

It was hot.
I kept going back to it and finally figured out how it could go together, but many of the dowels were rotted and would take so much time (and frustration) to fix.

I didn't need the laundry rack.  I have a great one of my aunt's that I use to dry my clothes outside on these sunny hot days.

Finally I decided that enough was enough and I just had to let it go.

On the heels of that decision was to let go of another chair of my mother's that was in need of repair.

I loaded them both in the back of my car.

And the chair I gave my mother for her 65th birthday that has been in my carport for...years.

Time to let go.

Memories don't have to be tied up in things, and every time I saw these broken things it made me sad.

It made me think I should fix them.

But not everything is fixable.

There were other things in the carport and in the basement making me sad - and they could be recycled - so I took two trips to the recycling depot.

There are things in my life, broken things, that may not be fixable.

These things remind me of a Stephen Fearing song - As the Crow Flies

Driving through the dead of night
A hundred miles on one headlight
Movin’ on
There are times when you can’t see what’s up ahead
But you make your choice and you make your bed
Movin’ on
Try to heal the things you’ve broken
The words you left unspoken
Learn to say goodbye
Wait for when the moment’s golden
Choose the door that opens
Straight as the crow flies
Movin’ on, movin’ on
With the best of intentions you can lose the day
But you get back up and on your way
Movin’ on
‘Cause people will talk and tell you lies
They flap their lips right before your eyes
Movin’ on
Try to heal the things you’ve broken
The truth you left unspoken
Learn to say goodbye
Wait for when the moment’s golden
Choose the hand that opens
Straight as the crow flies
Movin’ on, movin’ on
Rising from the ash and the dust
You turn the key from hope to trust
And all those hurtful things that were said
Are in the past now look ahead
Movin’ on, movin’ on, movin’ on, movin’ on
Try to heal the things you’ve broken
Don’t leave the truth unspoken
Learn to say goodbye
Wait for when the moment’s golden
Choose the path that opens
Straight as the crow flies
Movin’ on, movin’ on
Driving through the dead of night
A hundred miles on one headlight
A hundred miles
A hundred miles
Movin’ on

I am trying to do this.  Trying to move on.  Learning to say good-bye.

This past month I have been searching for a book I can't find, a quote I can't locate, a jacket I have misplaced.

I am obsessed with finding these things and it is making me crazy(er).  I think that I believe if I can find these lost things then my life will be orderly and okay and all will be right with the world.

But the truth is there are some things I have lost that I will never get back.

There are people I have lost that I will not see again.  At least not in this lifetime.

There are words I have spoken that I cannot take back.

There are words that have been spoken to me that will haunt be forever.

There are bridges burned.

But this week I made some progress.  I got some things out of my way that have been making me sad.

That is good, right?

Yes, that is good. '

Movin' On.