Sunday, July 15, 2018

Week Two update - It is easy being green

In deference to Kermit the Frog it is easy being green.

I have worked on two projects this week. From Monday to Friday I worked (albeit slowly) on spinning the last ounce of my merino/tencel fibre and then last night I took my wheel out onto the back porch to do my first ever 4ply yarn.

It took a long time to ply - at least an hour - and I have to even out my three remaining bobbins to finish the 4 ply.  In the end I will have 4 ounces and I will report on the yardage in a couple of weeks.

I only knit on Miette this week and I am about half a sleeve to finishing.

Today I am off to Vancouver Island to teach for a week, and then to my sister's on the little island for some R and R.  I am taking four little advent projects to work on while away, plus of course finishing Miette and I have a birthday present that needs to be finished by August 4th.  I will also take my drop spindle and some washed and carded fleece so I can keep up with Tour de Fleece this month.

To follow other yoppers please check out their projects and progress here.

Friday, July 13, 2018

Walking to Hope

My son and I are friends on an app called Strava.  It is a fitness app that allows you to post your activities.  A few months ago I noticed my son started giving his activities cute names and often were accompanied by cute pictures as well. 

I started to name my walks and swims and aqua classes.  Often the name is just where I was, or who I was with but there is one that is named for where I am going. 

Walking to Hope.

Every Friday I meet some people for coffee at Hope Centre.  I have been meeting up with them since last November.   Now that the good weather is upon us I take advantage of it and walk the 4 1/2 km to the meeting place.  It takes me about 45 minutes.  My dh picks me up afterwards somewhere along the route as I walk home. 

I admitted to a friend recently that I don't like walking just to walk.  I need to be on an errand, or with a friend catching up.  I rarely will go for a walk without a destination in mind. 

Usually I walk to the mall to shop, or to the library to return/borrow a book, or to get my haircut, or see the doctor/dentist.  I am fortunate to live in a place where walking to these places is an option and is doable for me. 

But now Friday has become the best of destinations. 

I walk to Hope. 

As I walk I reflect on the beauty of where I live.  The horse stables I pass by.  The house with all the bird houses in the front yard. 

The house with the hedge trimmed like a prancing pony.

 I even give thanks for the new construction that has allowed for a wonderful walking/biking path under the highway overpass.  It used to be such a dank, scary place to walk under.  I walk past the old houses on the grand boulevard and the more modern ones that seem to be springing up here and there.  A district in transition.

Just like me.

Sunday, July 8, 2018

Week One done - Year of Projects 2018/2019

I have not been doing as much knitting (gasp!!!) as usual as I am prepping for three courses I am teaching next week. 

However, I did finish knitting the baby pants, but they are not yet sewn up - and I still have the i-cord to finish.

I decided to focus on only one project this week - My Miette.  I am loving this yarn (Madeline Tosh Vintage) and the stitch definition it is giving me.  It is also pretty easy to knit and watch Netflix because lately I am alternating between Peaky Blinders and The Staircase - both of which need me to pay attention to what is happening on screen so forget lace shawls at the moment!

I bought some new yarn on Friday to make presents for a couple of special people in my life so I can't post anymore on this because, well, secret.

To follow other Yoppers check out their posts here

Face to Face with the 7th step

I have been attending a twelve step program for 7 weeks.  It had been suggested by a therapist and then another friend that I try CoDA (co-dependents anonymous).  Ok, so now it is not so anonymous.

Each month they focus on the step that corresponds with that month. At yesterday's meeting I was looking through the list of behaviours that one could call shortcomings, or survival techniques. 

I recognized more than a few of them.

  • procrastination (avoidance)
  • needing to do something about what we are feeling
  • fear of letting go and trusting
  • fear of what others may think or feel about us
  • fear of others' anger
  • dishonesty
  • manipulation (overt or covert) 
  • isolation

So why am I posting this?  (She asks herself).  Because I am taking crazy back.  Because I don't want these behaviours to control me anymore.  Because I am healing and attempting to be honest with both myself and others. Because after these meetings I can be quite sad and tired as I deal with new information, remember memories I had forgotten or ignored, and integrate stories I hear with my own stories. 

We all have stories.

Step seven is "Humbly asked God to remove our shortcomings."  To remove those things that have kept me safe all these 55+ years is a huge leap of faith. 

But I have faith.

I do. 

Socrates said "the unexamined life is not worth living." 

I believe that.

I do. 

I just wish that it didn't have to hurt so much. 

And it doesn't. 

Not all the time at least. 

Not. All. The. Time.

Sunday, July 1, 2018

Year of Projects - A new beginning

Happy Canada Day everyone!

Unfortunately I spent the day in bed with a migraine, but I am up now thanks to too many medications and preparing this wrap-up post for the 2017/18 yopping year as well as unveiling my plans for the 2018/19 Year of Projects that starts today.

Last year I finished most of the things on my list, and created a large number of things that were not on the list.

1 Cowl
1 Blanket
10 shawls (two were test knits)
5 pairs of socks (three were test knits)
6 double-knit potholders
3 baby articles
7 toys
3 Christmas Ornaments
1 Sweater
1 Pair of slippers
350 gms of handspun - much of it on my drop spindle (picure is of what I spun this past week)


I finished editing my novel!

At the end of the year I reacquainted myself with my love of crochet and I have three crochet wips to carry with me into the next Yopping Year.

I didn't dye any yarn as I had planned, but I did get the materials together so it will move into my next year list.

I was able to post every week of the challenge even when I was away camping for two months. 

So on to Year of Projects 2018/19.

First my new graphic for the coming year.

How cute is he?

I have quite a few wips being carried into this year and I am sure more projects will be added as I fall in love with patterns I just HAVE to knit, or crochet.  And I still have to finish my basket that I am weaving.

So here is my list for Year of Projects 2018/19

WIPS from 2017\2018

Crochet Baby Blankets:
1) 9 patch baby throw
2) Mandala Sampler Throw
3) Tunisian sampler - which I worked on this week

1)  Houlland
2) Bonnies Wish

1)Zodiac Rat

1) Miette

Baby Things:
1) Soakers - Here is my progress from the past week:

Woven Basket

New 2018/2019 projects

Little Knits for Advent Tree:

1) Christmas Bell
2) Stjarna
3) Gnome Bab
4) Santa Gnome
5) Bear Xmas Tree decoration
6) Christmas Drum
7) hedgehog
8) owl
9) Advent Tree
10) mini santa hat
11) candy cane
12) Heart
13) Acorn
14) Holiday Mice
15) Mushroom
16) Gingerbread Man
17) Poinsetta
18) Shamrock
19) Reindeer
20) Snowman
21) Sheep

Baby Knits

1) three pairs baby booties - two white, one blue
2) two pairs baby mitts
3) baby sleepers - onesie
4) crib mobile
5) crossover sweater


1) Taxi Socks
2) Twizzler Socks
3) Tour de Sock ( a couple of them at least)


1) Tour de Fleece
2) spin baby doll fleece
3) spin shetland fleece
4) spin fresian fleece


1) Cowichan Style Sweater knit from above fleeces


1) for son-in-law


Amigurumi Rainbow Sock Monkey

So that is it.  I wonder what else will get added as year goes on??  I will create a page for this list and update it there as I go.

I did make an acquisition this week - a new project basket:

and here is Otis looking too cute on my Iona blanket I knit this past year - one of my favourite projects of all time.

I will be posting update #1 next week.  I hope you will follow along.  I also plan to post about the comings and goings of my non-crafting life every Wednesday if you want to stay tuned for that as well.

And yes, there are other Yoppers to follow for the next year.  You can look at their lists of projects here.

Tuesday, June 26, 2018

Yopping #52 - Almost done

A quick update as I just got wifi as were camping (in the rain) until today.

I have been working on my three crochet blankets and I also started a pair of soakers for the upcoming grandbaby. 

I have made my list for next year which is mostly baby things and advent knits. 

Next week I will post my wrap-up of this past year and have my new list ready. 

I am very happy that I will have posted all 52 weeks of the year. 

I am off to Fabricators with my son and sister today.  I am going to be drop spindling because I HAVE to spin 2 oz before the end of the month to stay eligible for the scavenger hunt I am playing. 

I have signed up for Tour de Fleece with the group that is working with raw fleeces and Tour de Sock.

I am cheerleading  for TdS but no doubt will knit a couple of the sock patterns because SOCKS.

Hope you all have a good final week. 

Here's to Yopping 2018/2019. 

Some of the Yoppers have already posted their roundup posts here.

Sunday, June 17, 2018

Yopping Update 51 - What? A new addiction??

Well I think this becoming a Grandmother thing has brought out the inner crocheter in me.  That is ALL I did this week once I finished the ubiquitous Paton's slippers.

I finished Princess Leia:

But I had to go to Michaels to get some more white yarn - and then this happened.

So I HAD to start some modular crochet blankets:

I had to rip this one out and restart because I realized it was a different size than these two and majority rules. 

I also joined the June Mandala CAL and this was my first attempt (well actually my second because I ripped it out after first attempt because it was wonky).  This one looks wonky but I think it will block out when joined with others to make a blanket. 

When I went to my Croatian lesson I told my friend about my new love of crochet and she showed me this cute fridge magnet called 'Nonice'. Nona is Croatian for grandmother so Nonice means The Grandmothers.

I think I am the one in the middle.

My friend also showed me some blankets she had made for her children using Tunisian Crochet.  I have a tunisian hook that I got at the FreeStore on my sister's island and so this happened when I got home.

I am going to make a sampler baby blanket with strips of different tunisian stitches.

There was an awful fire in our neighbourhood this week and many many families lost everything so a friend of mine had a yarn auction to raise money for them. 

I came away from the auction with 4 lovely skeins of Mad Tosh Vintage. I think there is enough here to make a cropped sweater.

This week I also went for a long walk with a dear friend and we saw these six cygnets with their parents:

and on Friday a beautiful swallowtail butterfly visited my hummingbird flowers.

So add to that two aquafit classes and last night's Polka Time event I can confidently say that this has been a good week. 

I have started to think about my list for the soon to start  Year of Projects 18/19.  I think there will be little advent knits/crochets and of course shawls, socks, sweaters, baby things and toys. 

To follow the other yoppers as they head for the finish of this year go here.

Have a great week everyone.

Sunday, June 10, 2018

Update 50 - Baby things

I finished the booties:

can you see a problem?  I made one with 2.5 mm and one with 3 mm.  Oops - guess I have to make another pair to match.

the diaper pants:

made with the leftover yarn from my classic tee.

and this owl hat:

I am very proud of my crocheting ability on the little owl.

I purchased two new skeins of sock yarn:

Each ball will make a pair of socks plus a pair of anklet socks.   So I guess I will be casting on some socks in the very near future.

I looked through my year of projects list and with two weeks to go I hope to finish a few more and the unfinished projects will begin my list for Year of Projects #8.  Who is with me?

To see how my partners-in-crime are doing check out their posts here.

Sunday, June 3, 2018

Yopping Update #49 - Casting on ALL the things

I finished another potholder and I am pleased with the size of this one because I think the design shows up much better:

I can finally share the big news around here.  We are going to be Grandparents in December and so of course I had to cast on a few baby projects:  booties, a bonnet and some diaper pants.

We will go to Croatia in December to meet the newest member of our family and I am very excited and have already started packing.

Casting on seems to have started me down a startitis rabbit hole, so I have cast on two more shawls, a pair of slippers for the mother-to-be, and another hemp potholder.

This is what my coffee table looks like at the moment:

The flashcards are from my croatian lessons because I am determined to be able to speak Croatian with my grandchild!

I did finish my May spinning and I am especially pleased with spinning the baby doll (gray) fleece that I had carded on my sister's little island.

The green is ounce three of the yarn I have been spinning.  One more one ounce bobbin and I can try my first ever 4 ply yarn.

I have signed up for Tour de Sock this year as a cheerleader for the Double-Double, eh? team (we are a Canadian Team and "double-double" (two sugars, two creams) is how one orders coffee at Tim Horton's - a Canadian phenomenon.  I like signing up to get the patterns - six patterns for ten dollars and I usually knit one or two, but I don't join the race.  All profits go to Doctors without Borders.

I will join Tour de Fleece in July - to spin every day during the Tour de France.  I won't join a team, but will spin for myself.   Part of July I will be on Vancouver Island so I hope to pack my spinning wheel, but if it won't fit with all my teaching supplies I will take along my drop spindle. No stress, just a few minutes of spinning everyday as I work my way through all my fleece. 

If you read my previous post you will understand that I do not need to put any more pressure on myself to meet deadlines or participate in challenges.

So that is it for this week.  I have been thinking of what I want to be called as a grandmother.  My brother suggested Grand-M-A  since my name is Mary-Anne.

I like it!

Or in Croatian it is Nona.  I like that too.

If you are a grandparent, what are you called?

To follow other yoppers as we head towards the finish line go here.

Oh ya, and I am going to join Year of Projects #8.

It isn't stressful, and I love following my other blogging/crafting friends.

Friday, June 1, 2018

Goals and Challenges are my Albatross

It seems like everything in my life right now is goal driven. 

Duolingo - I am learning French and Duolingo keeps track of my progress by how many days in a row I have practiced.

Memrise - I am learning Croatian and Memrise keeps track of my days in a row.

Headspace - Keeps track of how many days in a row I have meditated

Carrot and Fitbit - Can I make 8200 steps a day?

Am I drinking 8 glasses of water a day?

Am I doing yoga every day?

Am I planking 30 seconds when I wake up and 60 seconds before I go to bed?

Am I doing 10 squats every time I go pee?

Am I exercising 150 minutes a week?

I can become quite manic about keeping all my streaks alive and have found myself trying to 'fudge' my Headspace streak by going to the app and starting the lesson but not listening to it, or trying to get in my steps without really stepping. 



So, I am trying to let go of all the expectations I put on myself.  I have been feeling quite manic lately and even my knitting is getting away on me.  I have cast on three projects as of yesterday and I have three others I want to cast on RIGHT NOW.

This manic activity is kind of freaking me out. I can't trust that this is just what good mental health feels like, or if  "Houston, we have a problem."

My headaches seem to finally be gone.

That is a very good thing. 

My blood work is all normal.

That is a very very good thing. 

I feel like I have too too many balls in the air and I am waiting for one of them, or all of them, to drop.

I am waiting for the proverbial shoe to drop. 

I don't trust myself. 

I don't trust feeling good. 

I don't trust.

Oh sure, I am getting things done but still and all I feel somewhat out of control. 

So for now I am using the Serenity prayer as my mantra:

God grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change;
the courage to change the things I can;
and the wisdom to know the difference.

I am letting my streaks go.

I am being honest with myself about what I can and cannot do in a day. 

I am listening to that still small voice that is whispering to me that I am ok.

Not perfect. 

But ok. 

And getting better every day.

Sunday, May 27, 2018

#48 - TPHPE for the win

Hello one and all. 

This week has been all about potholders!

First I finished the hemp potholder - chinese characters for Year of the Monkey.

Then I checked my queue and saw that I had planned to knit TPHPE pattern.

TPHPE stands for The Prettiest Hot Pad Ever. 

I added the row of crosses along the top because it wasn't quite square enough.  Now I have started another one and I am expanding the pattern row to every two rows so it will be square enough without me having to adlib. 

I did a second Tree of Life potholder/trivit with better contrast of colours.  I am happier with this result than last week's.

A friend at knitgroup said she liked the brown one from last week because it was a mystery similar to Where's Waldo?  Where is the Tree of Life?

My son and I did another geo-caching walk before he left town and we saw these cuties with their mom along the way. 

Last Monday the three of us (my husband, son and I, not the little ducks) went to the Museum of Anthropology.  It is such an amazing place and now I am reading about Salish Weaving after meeting with Debra Sparrow whom I had gone to school with until grade 8.  She was there demonstrating weaving as she worked on a piece commissioned by the Museum.  She mentioned this book as her reference when she first began weaving.

Here is one of Bill Reid's carvings that is honoured with a room all of its own. 

Lastly at Knit Group a gentleman arrived with two suitcases full of wool and material. He was moving and had been storing things for his mother-in-law that he now wanted to give away.  

I took this amazing bolt of material that I am going to make into bedroom curtains.

And this red and green felt for an advent wreath and/or christmas stockings.

And some acylic yarn I will send on to the Hornby Island Free Store.  

This wool I will use for scrap yarn projects like my little advent knits.

but this I will make into a shawl 

and this into .....something.  Maybe a baby blanket?

Also there was a completely finished sweater except the ends hadn't been sewn in and there was a hole in the front where I think the woman was trying to fix a cable she had made an error on. I picked up the stitches on either side of the hole and grafted the sides together with kitchener stitch.  Last night I sewed in all the ends. The cable isn't a mistake, it is a design element.  Right?

I thought it would be donated to some young man, but then I put it on and my husband said I should keep it.  

What do you think?

A good camping sweater for sure.

To follow other yoppers as we head towards the finish line look here.

PS:  On the headache front it is still with me, but I did go to the doctor and have had lots of blood/urine tests.  I am not letting it stop me and have been walking and even tried a Tai Chi class for the first (and not the last) time.  It'll take more than a persistent headache to stop me from getting on with life.