Sunday, August 11, 2019

Yopping Update #6 - When in doubt do the math

I have been slowly working on the kerchief tank top and kept having to count every row to make sure I had the correct number of double crochets so that each square would be, well, square.  Finally after finishing square two I decided to do the math to see how it grew proportionally.  This made square number three much much easier.

Row 3                Row 4

44                       36
76                       52
108                     68
140                     84
172                     100
204                     116

Row 3 is dc in every stitch and Row 4 is dc, chain 1, skip one etc around the square. Both rows have 2dc,ch2,2dc in the corners.

Can you see the pattern?   A little brain teaser for you - I will post the answer next week.

I am part way through square four and then to put it all together and add the edging and the straps. (That will likely be a brainteaser for me).

After number 2 square I decided to rewind the cotton from the cone it was on into a proper ball so it unwinds easier in the yarn bowl.  This allowed me to weigh it all as well (remember the cone, all 454 gms of it came from the little island's free store).

So after knitting two produce bags and the four squares for the tank I still have at least 179 gms left.  This should be enough for a little baby sweater I think.

Other than that I did get to the pool 4 times, went to a couple of mental health group meetings, saw the doctor about my arm (I am getting a cortisone shot in my shoulder tomorrow), and spent time reading on the back porch and we even spent one evening lying on the beach.  Yesterday it rained so I spent most of the day indoors blogging, crocheting and netflixing!  (new verb).

Today it is raining still, and to be honest my anxiety is kicking my ass. I think I do know what has brought it on and probably a good session spent writing about it might help.  Stay tuned.

To follow other yoppers (and if you are a Ravelry member) check out their posts here

Sunday, August 4, 2019

Yopping Update #5 - Queue reorganization

I forgot to report on an important task I accomplished last week.  I went through my queue on Ravelry and.....drum roll please.....organized it into sets!!!

I had upwards of 130 things I want to knit/crochet in my queue and while I was picking out all the advent things I wanted to knit I realized at the same time I could put all the sock patterns together, all the shawl patterns, all the baby knits, etc.   While doing this I also weeded out those patterns that grabbed my attention at one time, but which I am no longer keen to make.  (There was only about 3 of these!)

So as I work first through my advent knits, I am s l o w l y reducing my queue and when I do decide it is time to knit a pair of socks again, or a shawl, or a toy for the grand-daughter it will be much easier to find them.

This week I have continued to work on the advent calendar.  After I finished number 6 I decided to frog the number 3 because it was too big, and after number 7, I re-knit 3 with a more appropriate size yarn.  Much better. Here is my progress now - 1/2 way there!

However, knitting these little mitts are like eating potato chips - you can't just knit one.  One a day would probably be ok with my arm, but I am over-doing it so they will go into time out for the foreseeable future.  I promised both my hubby and our best man last night to give knitting a complete rest - and who could say no to these two guys:

free photo booth at Bard event complete with dress-up hats.

I also figured out the crochet tee pattern and have almost completed the first square.  I am sure it will not be something I will wear, but I will  find a recipient who would rock the look.  Otis photo-bombed my progress:

Last night we celebrated our 42nd wedding anniversary by attending a wonderful event put on at Bard on the Beach.  Every summer red and white tents go up at Kitsilano Point and they put on four different Shakespeare plays from June through until September.  On the nights that coincide with the Festival of Lights (fireworks displays by three different countries) the Bard hosts a salmon BBQ along with one of their plays and then the theatre goers have awesome front row seats to the fireworks.

Besides falling only a few days after our anniversary, it turns out that last night it was team Croatia that put on the display.  Since that is now my daughter's home we HAD to go and represent Croatia with our beach towels that display the Croatian flag and map! 

We took along our best man too (he is the one in the above pic with the 'stylish' dressup glasses!).  We saw Taming of the Shrew (done in a western theme) and that was exciting also because when I taught grade 8 in 2004 that was the play my class put on for the school and their parents. One of my students (the one who played Petrucchio) did the sound for the production last night.  He was my student for five years and it was exciting to see his name in the program.

The weather has been great this past week - good enough for another ex-student (now friend) to come and help rake up the yard and start to set things to right.  With my arm raking and mowing and sweeping are out of the question. 

We had company staying with us early in the week.  A dear friend is in the hospital and they live far away so his wife stayed with us for two nights while he received the treatment he needed.  We had a nice long visit with him on Tuesday and our prayers and love went with them both as they headed home on Wednesday.  Excuse my language here but....Cancer is a Bitch.  F&ck Cancer.

Thank you to my insurance company my car is now fixed and although I had to pay the deductible, insurance covered the rest without any hassle. 

Otherwise I did go for a massage on Tuesday for my hip and back and it helped a bit and she gave me some exercises to-do.  I have to get serious about doing ALL these exercises I have now so I can get back into the pool for some real swimming.  I miss it so terribly. 

My dear nephew posted this page on facebook yesterday and it so resonated with me.  I will share it here as a reminder to us all:

Blessings to all of you dear readers wherever you are and whatever journey you are traveling.  Life is not for the faint of heart - but we are brave when we are kind to one another.

Sunday, July 28, 2019

Yopping Update #4 - It's the little things

This week it is all about the little things.

The week started off with this water bottle holder:

and then I had just enough blue cotton left for one more wee produce bag:

Since little things seemed to be the order of the week I decided to get started on those advent knits.

I had 37 gms of sparkley, multi-coloured home spun that I had received as a gift a couple of years ago at one of our knit night christmas parties.   So here is what became of 31 gms of it:

I love how the colours naturally changed from his legs to his body and then to his hat.  (I used something else for his little head).

I started looking at my advent knit list and my eyes fell on this advent calendar.  The instructions are all in Norwegian so thanks to my trusty friend google translate I was able to get this done:

and then this:


this one is a little bigger cause of using sport weight yarn - I might re-do it at some point with fingering.  
and last night this when I couldn't figure out the instructions to the tank I wanted to start (see below):

Only 20 more to go?  They will make a nice advent calendar, just big enough for a colourful stone, or chestnut, or chocolate I think.

I perused my queue for other advent knits and found the pattern for stjarna.  It starts out very complicated with me casting on to two sets of circulars,  then transferring the top half of the cast on to dpns, and leaving the bottom half to pick up later for the back half of the star.

It starts like this:

and ends up as a three dimenstional five pointed star:

Last night I was going to cast on a crocheted tank but the instructions were too complicated for my late night brain.  I will try again today.  I have 2.2 pounds of cotton on a spool that I got from the free store,

and this tee is made with four crocheted squares.  I think I can manage that once I wrap my head around the instructions - I may have to learn how to read a crochet diagram after all.

That is my week.  There was some pool time, and I helped my husband put together a workbench:

almost done
I also took my car in for an estimate - and it will get fixed sometime this coming week.

My grand-daughter turned 7 months yesterday.  Look at those teeth (she has six already).

To follow the other intrepid crafters check out their progress for the week here 

Monday, July 22, 2019

Yopping Undate #3 - There's no place like home

I am back!   A day late, and more than a few dollars short, but more about that later. 

I was able to crochet about 1/2 of a produce bag last week while busy teaching as my days were taken up at the school from 7:30 -5:00 each day.  I did get to the pool twice in the evening and had a lovely dinner with an old friend one night as well.  So really that only left me two evenings to craft.

The teaching went very well (the evaluations were stellar) and on Friday I headed up island to visit FitznStarts and her wife.   They treated me like royalty, and I left them with three produce bags - two I made while visiting with them, and the third I had made a couple of weeks ago. 

I then head further up island to visit my brother and his significant other in their new house.  We had a great visit which also included a mini hike up to Elk Falls.  The falls were spectacular.

I woke up this morning with a SEVERE case of homesickness so decided to pack up and head for the ferry.  The ferries were in turmoil when I arrived as the early morning ferry had been cancelled, and then not cancelled, so when I got to the ferry cars were waiting for two ferries that hadn't loaded yet.  I was in a line-up outside the ferry terminal and I had to PEE!.  I know, too much information. 

Anyways, once the two ferries unloaded and they loaded the first ferry I finally was allowed into the terminal with the caution that I would possibly miss the 11 which was just loading.  I put my prayers in to God, and lo and behold I was one of the cars in the last lineup they loaded.  Phew. 

I was headachey and hungry and still a bit weepy from homesickness, but a lettuce-wrapped burger, poutine and a coke cheered me up a little. (So did the pee - again tmi). Then some back and forth exchanges with my wise daughter helped get me up onto the deck, sitting in the sun with the wind in my hair.  I finished another produce bag by the time the ferry was docked and we were ready to unload. 

I was home and in my dh's arms by 1:30pm.  There's no place like home. 

Unpacked, a little laundry, and a call to the insurance company done and it is only 4pm.

Insurance company you say.  Well, yes. 

As I pulled into my brother's driveway he asked what I had done to the front bumper of my car.

I thought he was referring to a rubber scrape I had incurred a few weeks ago.  But no.  This was what I saw.
So someone on the island has some serious karma (car-ma) issues for not leaving a note on my car.  This means I will be out my deductible, but the claim won't affect my rates.  Which is good because the rates already have risen for everyone in my province partly due to hit and run claims like this one will be.  I was so bummed about this last night, which probably didn't help my homesickness.  So my teaching week will cost me 300 bucks - which is a quarter of what I made. Sigh. Life is a b#%ch sometimes.

On a happier note I believe I am feeling some improvement in my arm.  It is small, but it is noticeable and I think the new night time medication is helping.

On the down side (what a Libra I am), my right hip is very, very sore and stiff when I walk, and while I was teaching I had to sit down more than stand because my back was really sore. 

Ah, ain't old age grand?

Old age?  I am only 63 (ok, almost 64), and I plan to live to 100, so 63 is really middle age.  Right?


So there is my third week done and done.   Summer seems to finally be here - so I am heading out to have a cool drink on my porch.  Maybe the hummingbirds will come and join me. 

To follow other yoppers (if you are a Ravelry member) check out their posts here.

Sunday, July 14, 2019

Yopping Update #2 - Nothing to see here

Well, the title isn't entirely true, but in the crafting department I have made 4 more project bags.  Two yellow, and two blue.  It is all my arm can handle it seems.

I love these - they are easy to crochet, very practical and convenient to tuck into a pocket on the way to the store.

Seven copies of my novel are out in the world now, and I have gone through it again myself to find ALLLLLLL the typos (and a couple of continuity errors).

coloured flags = error of some sort :(

Now I will wait for the responses and at the end of the summer decide where to go next.

Getting my novel out into the world (baby steps) helped inspire me to start to put my poetry in order so for the last couple of days I have been transcribing my terribly messy handwritten poems onto my computer.

Then I have to figure out an order for them, or some kind of theme.  Time will tell.

I spent the week doing errands and making sure everything is in order for my dh before I leave to teach next week: oil change, groceries, bra shopping (for me), t-shirt shopping (for him), gutters cleaned and roof de-mossed (we hired someone - don't worry).  I even ordered a little blue-tooth speaker so I can listen to my tunes or podcasts without having to be plugged into my phone - freedom!

No swimming this week, but I did get out for a couple of very long walks (one of them in the rain), and met up for coffee with a dear friend.  On the rainy walk I ran into the not-so-proverbial wall!

stopped in my tracks (film crew in my park)

It has been a good week.

Today I leave for the island to teach for five days.  I will take my crochet cotton and hook, but if last year is any example I don't think I will get any crafting done.

My arm is still sore, but the doctor changed my medication at night so I am sleeping better.  Hooray for that.

To follow other yoppers, who I am sure are much more accomplished with their crafting this week than I was, check out their blogs here.

Sunday, July 7, 2019

Yopping Update - Week #1 - Testing Testing

On strict orders from my daughter I was not to knit for a week.  My arm has been very sore and I have to teach starting in a week and I need to be more mobile for sure.

So.....what did I do? 

I spent hours re-editing my novel and then I took it to the printer to get it ready to give copies to beta readers.  What?  I know, right?  I also sent pdfs to three readers and it seems that after almost four years this whole novel thing might be becoming a reality.

What is a beta reader you might ask?  I will let Wikipedia answer:   

"A beta reader is a test reader of an unreleased work of literature giving feedback with the angle of an average reader to the author about remaining issues."

Now I want to start organizing my poetry into a single collection.  I thought I had already done this, but it must have been a dream because I cannot find it on any computer anywhere.  How weird is that?

There was a tiny bit of crafting - crochet, and after trying for a little I switched back to my left hand only.  These produce bags are quick and easy to make.  Good television crafting once the increase rounds are done.

Two done and the third just needs the handles.

I had an epiphany about my fisherwoman's sweater this past week.  It seems for me that knitting truly is a metaphor for my life.

I started this sweater with wool I had re-purposed from a sweater that didn't fit me anymore.  It was a long line vest, and I figured I had enough yarn to make a cable-knit sweater for camping.

Once the back was almost complete I started to wonder if I woud have enough wool to finish it.  I stopped knitting the back about two inches from the end, and cast on the two sleeves.  When the sleeves were almost finished I weighed the parts that were already knit.  Then I weighed how much yarn I have left.

I think I don't have enough yarn, but rather than soldier on to see if the imaginary is reality I just put the whole thing on time out.


What is the worst that can happen?  I can either make the sweater shorter if I need to because I haven't cast off the back as this point, or I can go and buy a suitable yarn to finish the sweater.

It is a camping sweater afterall, not something I want to exhibit at Vogue knitting.

This got me to thinking about what I have been going through over the past year.   I have been looking at what strategies I have been using in my life, that no longer serve me, that I wish to let go, or change.

Change is hard.  It is easy to go back to old patterns, or put things in a time out.  It is harder just to move forward and face whatever it is I need to face head on.

If I don't see this sweater through to the end I won't ever know if maybe  a) I will win at the yarn chicken, or b)  I won't win at yarn chicken but I will experience the success of finding a solution of either modifying the pattern, or finding some yarn to finish it.  It is natural undyed aran wool so I really don't think getting a close enough match will be a problem.

Besides, I can't go back.  The old sweater that didn't fit anymore cannot be put back to the way it was and the new sweater is shaping up quite nicely.  Change is not comfortable.

Pretending the problem isn't there won't make it go away.

Are you listening, Mary-Anne?

Yup, I am listening, and as soon as I can knit again I will cast on the front and let the chips fall where they may.

To following the other intrepid souls that are going into Year Nine with me check out their posts here.

Monday, July 1, 2019

Year of Projects Year Nine Here I Come

Thanks to my son for the drawing for my Year 9 Year of Projects header.  Cute, no?

My list is in the page at the top of this blog Year of Projects 2019-2020.  I will update it throughout the year as I go along. Here it is as this year of projects begins:

Year of Projects 2019-2020

Advent Knits (3rd time lucky?) # refer to my Ravelry queue

1) Christmas Bell #45
2) Stjarna - #46 or #61
3) Gnome Baby #98
4) Santa Gnome #55
5) Bear Xmas Tree decoration #54
6) Christmas Drum #70
7) heart #49
8) hedgehog #68
9) Advent Tree #39
10) mini santa hat #67 or #69
11) candy cane #51
12) Acorn #52
13) Holiday Mice #53
14) Mushroom #56
15) Gingerbread Man #62
16) Poinsetta #58
17) Shamrock # 59
18) Reindeer #62
19) Snowman #62
20) Yarn basket ornament #65
21) Mini sweater ornaments #35 or #47

Fisherwoman's sweater
Slip,Knit,Love Mosaic Shawl

Crib Mobile #119 or #128

Just do something (lol)

Basket Weaving
finish basket started spring 2018 in Arizona
woven wedding plate kit




grocery produce bags
Spicier Life Blanket

Simply Knitting Kits
Bella bunkins

Publish Novel

No new yarn acquisition

I have two wips to finish - and here is my progress on them as this year starts.

Fisherwoman's sweater


Slip Knit Love shawl

There will be more spinning this year (are you listening Mary-Anne?), and I am certain many projects will find there way into my heart and hands as the year unfolds. I have so much unspun fibre that I plan to only work from my stash this year.  So, yes, that is my commitment - no new yarn acquisition unless it is needed to complete a project that I started from my stash.  So, if I want to knit and crochet I had better get spinning!

I am determined to get my novel to beta readers this coming year and ultimately published one way or another.

Oh, and there will be swimming, and walking and pictures of my dear grand-daughter.  That is a promise.

Happy Canada is today!  I hope there will be red and white cupcakes and fireworks!

If you are a Ravelry member you can follow other Year Nine Yoppers here!

Sunday, June 30, 2019

Yopping Update #52 - It's a wrap in rhyme

Year number eight is over and done
50 projects and most of them fun.

I posted every week not missing one
and kept up on the other yoppers'  fun.

Two blankets were finished, a crochet and a knit
Quite a feat to make all the squares fit!

Four shawls made this year, one while away
This Hitchhiker made with pride I'd say

Two of the shawls with vintage yarn  given to me
and the first with found yarn from a store that was free.

Onto the zodiac, a rat, dog and ox
All made as gifts, wrapped up in a box

Three basket weave dish cloths - one made with a hook
and two little scrubbies to clean up after the cook.

One emerald green sweater was made just for me
and three little ornaments to hang on our tree

Of course dear little grand-daughter received many hand knits
All made from my stash or from magazine kits.

Some soakers, a onesie and a cross over top
 A hoodie, some booties, I just couldn't stop.

There was one pair of socks and two pairs of mittens
(did I mention in Croatia I saw lots of kittens?)

A hedgehog, some sheep, and rocky raccoon
and Christmas tree ornaments not a moment too soon.

Elephants and owls and one noel mouse
plus a tape measure cover for my dear daughter's house

A sunflower bookmark to keep one's place
And one more little flower to brighten the space

Of course I knit socks 'cause that's what I do
One pair for me and my dear husband too

Then there were these taxi socks made for my son
I designed them myself, my very first one

One amigurumi monkey, I had planned to do
but he was so cute, I had to make two

 I knit and felt slippers, a first time for me
They fit like a glove, so I am happy you see.

This year while dealing with a very sore arm
I couldn't knit for months to save me more harm

Now that diagnosis could have spelled doom
But look, I made curtains for my bedroom!

So that is my wrap up - all done in rhyme
No rest for me, there just isn't time.

Tomorrow Year Nine starts - my list is all done
Things to knit and fibre to be spun!

One more thing I have to shout out loud
As a grandmother I am so very proud.

To catch other wrap up posts go here
These yopping friends of mine are all very dear.