Sunday, January 28, 2018

Yopping Update 31 - Block and Weave

My daytimer has a quote for each week.  This week the quote was :

"Do something every day that you don't want to do; this is the golden rule for acquiring the habit of doing your duty without pain." Mark Twain

So I decided to block my three shawls!  I can only show you two of them because the test knit hasn't been released yet.  Be patient, dear reader.

This was my peace shawl that I finished on December 21.

and this is my Dying of the Light that I finished on December 25th.

Then I took my test knit (now blocked) and my scrappy bias shawl to my knit group on Thursday and spent the whole two hours weaving in ends!

I did start a pair of socks for Knitterarium and both toes are done (toe up pattern).

I got quite a bit done on my classic tee:

Such an easy knit - just two pieces - front and back - and then sew together. 

This week I just couldn't put down the scrappy bias shawl.  I have about 160 stitches of the requisite 200 and I am just having much too much fun changing colours. But look - all ends sewn in at this point:

This week I watched a movie on Knowledge network about the Story of the Coast Salish Knitters and then went and got Silvia Olsen's book, Working with Wool, from the library to read more about it.  I knit two sweaters in the Cowichan style in 1978 and I still have them.  I pulled them out of the closet, and decided to mend the ribbing on them that had tattered in a few places.  My husband and I wore them through the 80s and our children wore them in the late 90s and early 2000s. 

dh circa 1978

 moi circa 1978

Mine still fits!  and I have been wearing it again now it is mended.  It will be a perfect camping sweater.    Here I am modelling them both today!

I have so much black and white fleece that I am determined to wash, card, spin and and then knit into another Cowichan-style sweater for myself.  Stay tuned - so far I have spun about 2 ounces but I am not spinning fat singles consistently enough to begin to knit.

Whew - a photo heavy post today - but it is sooooo rainy here lately - perfect for knitting and spinning.

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Happy knitting, crocheting, spinning, weaving or whatever you love doing this week!

Sunday, January 21, 2018

Yopping Update - darn socks!

I have the test knit off the needles - but it needs s p a c e to be blocked so that hasn't happened yet. 
On the upside, I cleaned up my craft room on Friday night so that :

a) I had a place to do yoga, and
b) more floor space for blocking. 

Of course b) means I can't do a).   Lol.   Chock this up to #firstworldproblems.

We have a house full of visitors this weekend, but once the dust has settled I can set up the blocking mat in the spare bedroom and all will be well. I have three shawls to block at the moment so the bedroom will be seconded for quite a few days.

While cleaning the craft room I discovered my bookshelf was about to fall over, so I had to take everything off it and nail it back into some semblance of security.  It mostly holds all my teaching paraphanalia and if that had collapsed I can't even imagine the mess I would have been in.  (especially if it collapsed while I was on my yoga mat.)

I am motoring along on my scappy bias shawl and now have 117 stitches of the required 200.  I am really enjoying this knit and my scrap basket is seeing a dent in its contents which was the whole point of the exercise. 

I got my Knit Pick order:

Two shawls and a cotton tee are in my future!

This Tee pattern comes from one of my Simply Knitting Magazines. 

I started it on Wednesday.  By Thursday I had about six inches done, but it was too big.  I measured it against a tee shirt that I really like the fit of and decided to frog and restart with a smaller size.  I am back to where I was and loving the colour and how this yarn  has such lovely stitch definition. 

One of my Year of Projects goal was to darn socks.  I pulled down my basket of holey socks last week and there were eleven lonely socks looking for some love and rejuvenation. 

Ten were mine, one was my husband's.  Technically one didn't need darning - it just needed a split stitch to be laddered back up and secured. 

See?  Good as new.

So on ten socks I went from this:

to this:

and by the end of the day I had fixed all these and returned them to my sock drawer.

I don't know why I put off darning socks - once I get going it is quite fast, quite easy, and I feel very accomplished once it is done.  Also, my poor sock drawer was looking so empty, and now I know why! How did four holey socks become eleven since July? 

So that is my knitting week.  It has been raining like crazy here this past week but as well as all the knitting we got the camper off and then back on the truck so the truck could have some maintenance done before our next camping trip (soon, I hope, very soon), and I did make it to the pool four times. 

My Croatian lessons are going well, and yesterday my daughter and I had a  long conversation in Croatian via Whatsapp.  I have so many flashcards now - and I am happy with my progress. 

We are making a turkey dinner tonight because my son will be in town and we haven't seen him since before Christmas.  So I better start peeling potatoes. 

To follow other yoppers you can check out their weekly progress here.

Monday, January 15, 2018

Today 29 years ago

On January 14, twenty nine years ago, I was making sure everything was organized to leave your brother so your Dad and I could go to the hospital to deliver you.

It had started snowing, hard, and I was concerned if we didn't get to the hospital sooner rather than later it would be too late.

As it turned out if it had been too late it would have been fine to have you born at home as yours was an uncomplicated birth.

As it turned out the Doctor was not as concerned as I was about the snow and waited for the hospital to call him that your arrival was imminent.

He missed the birth.

He did describe driving to the hospital as a commercial for all-wheel drive vehicles as he drove around all the stuck cars in his path between him and us.

So yes, you were born in a snow storm.    January 15, 1989, 3:20 am.

I still remember the doctor on call who delivered you - not her name, I forget her name, but she had the most wonderful warm brown eyes.

And so it began in that hospital room greeted by your Dad, and your Aunt, and me. You born on what would have been my father's 65th birthday.  A gift indeed.

You met your brother later the very same day - he arrived with a bouquet of irises for me.

I have come to believe that our children are our teachers, not the other way around.

You came into this world to teach me about you, about the world I live in, about myself.

I am still learning from you - you who now live so very far away - and in a hot country - far from snowstorms and icy winters.

I wish you were here so we could go to the Korean spa together, go get our hair cut, go out to White Spot and share some zoo sticks. Maybe get a mani/pedi and make fun of the massage chairs like we did so many years ago in Halifax.

I wish you were here so I could make us some tea, and we could sit in the kitchen nook and watch the birds and talk.

I wish you were here so you could sit at the piano, or play the guitar and sing.

I wish you were here so we could do yoga side by side.

I wish you were here so I could hold you as I wish you a Happy Birthday and tell you what this relationship of ours means to me.

But, as my mother used to say, "If wishes were horses than beggars would ride".

(She was also a Capricorn).

So today we will Skype, and hopefully the card I mailed will have made it in time to greet you on this special day.  If not, know that it is winging its way to you across the many many miles.

Happy Birthday, dear girl.
I love you.


Sunday, January 14, 2018

Yopping Update - testing testing


I have been working on the test knit for Celtic Knits and I am on the last section.  I am up to 388 stitches per row - so it is going more slowly now, but I love the pattern, and I already know who I am going to give this to when it is done.  Shhh - both the pattern and the recipient are a secret at the moment.

My sock test knit is coming along - I have turned the heel on the second sock so it will be easy-peasy to finish this.

I am still putting in quite a few rows every day on the scrappy bias shawl.  I am enjoying this knit very much and feeling good about using up my bits and bobs.

I also sorted out my worsted remnants so I have some tentative plans for some little Izzy dolls.

I did get some spinning done this week - about 1/2 an ounce.  It feels good to be back at the wheel.  I have left it set up in the living room so that I will do a little bit each day or so.  I am spinning wool that I processed myself - quite a learning curve - but I think it will be good once it is plyed.

On the down side I got a migraine on Thursday which is still with me so that sucks.  I am living on Tylenol every four hours.  I hope today I will be well enough to get to the pool as I just couldn't bear the bright lights and noise yesterday.

It has been an emotional week for me, and I was looking forward to my support group on Friday - but when I got there the sign on the door said it was cancelled this week and next.  I was pretty upset about that but fortunately I have an empathy buddy and we had a good talk on the phone that evening.  I was so grateful she was there for me when I really needed her.  I haven't really needed this for quite a few months so was glad to have her help to find my equilibrium once again.

I am still waiting for my knitpicks order.  It should be here soon.  They say it was shipped on January 3rd.  I can't wait to cast on the sweater I have planned for the cotton I ordered.

So that's it for me.  An up and down week - just like the treadle on my spinning wheel.

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Thursday, January 11, 2018

January 11, 1922

Today would have been my Mum's 96th birthday.  She has been gone for almost fourteen years.
Sitting alone in the early morning hours, the sky still dark, the mantel piece lanterns glowing, I find tears slowly rolling down my cheeks.

I am sipping my coffee, reading a book my dear sister gave me.

I think I am missing my mum.

But then I realize I am not so much missing my mum as missing having a mum.

Even at my age, sometimes I wish I could be mothered.

I have good friends, I have best friends, but they are not my mother.

I don't even know what it is I am missing.

There is no-one in my life that is that person I could phone and with life's wisdom could comfort me the same way a mother could.  My mother and father's siblings are all gone.  I am now, with my sisters and brothers and cousins the oldest generation.

We are finding our way with our grown children, nieces and nephews, great-nieces and great-nephews, grand-children.

Finding our way, but still feeling lost on this journey called life.

So ya, today?

Today, I miss my mum.

Sunday, January 7, 2018

First Yopping Update of 2018

Happy New Year.  We stayed up until midnight. banged pots and pans out the front and back door  and I toasted all the dear departed souls who passed on in 2017.  It won't be the same without them in 2018.  Here's to you Henry, Alice, Roger, Cynthia and Martin.  Forever to live in our hearts.

My brother joined us for dinner on New Year's Day and in true family fashion we all donned our Christmas Cracker Hats:

and dinner was delicious.  I never take picture of the food I am about to eat but this just looked so pretty:
Ham and scalloped potatoes with carrots, turnips, beets, beet greens and of course red and green olives!

After dinner, (and a few chocolates) I started my 2018 knitting, because if you remember from last week everything was off my needles by midnight on the 31st. 

I decided to cast on two test knits to start the year.  I have one sock done:

and the colour isn't showing properly - the body colour matches the cuff much better than that.  See?

I used the fish lips kiss heel and I had forgotten how easy it is and how much I love the fit.  This will be my go to heel for 2018.

I can't show you any pics of my test knit for Knitterarium, but I can show you the three colours I am using for her gorgeous shawl. 

It is a worsted/aran weight shawl and it is going to be beautiful both in design and weight. 

I have so many little balls of odds and ends from all the shawls and socks I made in 2017 that I decided to cast on this scrappy bias shawl.


is becoming THIS!

And then after a glorious day at the Korean Spa on Tuesday, and a lovely lunch with my childhood friend on Wednesday, I came down with the flu Wednesday afternoon.  I felt so crappy that I didn't even want to knit!   Horrors!

However I did manage to put my big projects on hold to knit up two little kits from my Simply Knitting magazines:  

My hedgehog pin cushion:

 and a Christmas Ornament (for next year because my tree was already down when I made this.)

It is suppose to be more round than oblong so I think this was a stuffing fail, but I like it as it is.  

For Christmas my dh gave me his credit card to place a knitpicks order.  I have ordered yarn for two shawls and a sweater/tee.  I am so excited for the mail to get here. Happy Christmas to me!

I also found out I won a beautiful yarn bowl from the Stashdown group I belong to for my success in the Scavenger Hunt they ran last year.  I will post pictures when it arrives.  

I have challenged myself to spin up 12 lots of fibre this year - one a month - because although my yarn stash is quite mediocre, my fibre stash is taking up far too much space.  If you want to join the Stashdown group we are here.

I also am challenging myself to knit 50 objects this year.  I have two done already (see above) so I think this is doable.  It is also doable because I want to knit 22 more  little things for my Advent Calendar.  I already have two things done, and I have downloaded all the little (free) patterns so stay tuned - it's only two a month and they are quite little (she says optimistically). 

Oh my, I have written much more than I had planned.  I guess I am feeling better and the pool is calling as I haven't been there since January 1!  

Have a great week everyone, and to follow other yoppers check out their progress here.