Sunday, August 25, 2019

Yopping Update #8 - Spinning around

I finally got the spinning wheel out from behind the piano and gave her a whirl.  First I finished London Town which I had started in March and then put away because the drafting was aggravating my arm.  23 gms , 40 meters- 2 ply

Then I work with some unknown fibre for another 17 gms and 33 meters.  I chained plied this one.

Just for fun I took the two remaining balls of lopi pencil roving left over from the slippers I knit and felted earlier this year. I plied them together to make a single.  24 gms and 39 meters

I felt good enough to start a baby blanket with some leftover stash I had.  I wasn't sure about how the colours I had would work together but I am pleased with the result.

It is a slip stitch knit pattern from 60 Quick Baby Knits.

I know that my goal for Year of Projects Nine was not to buy any more yarn.  HAHA!

First I decided to buy the yarn I needed to make a toy sloth.  I HAD to buy some Sirdar snuggly because I didn't have any textured yarn to simulate the sloth's fur. I bought two balls for two sloths, but then of course I needed some matching colours to make the toes and face.  150 gms - 29 bucks.

Then on Friday my husband (yes I am blaming him) wanted to get something at WalMart and I didn't want to sit in the car.  Lo and behold I discovered a bin of remaindered yarn..  Great prices between $1 and $3.60 per ball.   I bought some white for a baby sweater, some coloured self striping to make two more monkeys, some scrubby cotton to make, well, scrubbies, and some gorgeous varigated yarn to make, probably, a shawl of some sort.  Come on - how could I pass up 700 gms of yarn for $22.00?
four balls in front will become two sloths - stay tuned.
I then tackled a larger piece of fibre - some indigo dyed BFL (blue-faced leichester).  I have not quite finished the second bobbin and then I will 2 ply  it. 47 gms.

My husband snuck up on me and took this picture while I spun on the sunny deck.

this is my 'what the heck are you doing' face
almost finished

I got to the pool 5 times this week, and had a good croatian lesson on Friday.  I found some croatian novels written for beginning students and my teacher and I worked through five chapters of the first one.  I felt quite good that I could understand most of it! Onward.

Speaking of Croatia.....look at what my unuka (grand-daughter) is up to already!

She is determined to walk before 9 months I think

So add to the week a twenty-fifth wedding anniversary party, a couple of doctor visits and my two support meetings and I can say it was a full week. I am pretty sure today will be spent relaxing and reading my new purchase - I went to Michaels to source more yarn for my baby blanket, but nothing matched what I needed - and then this jumped into my empty arms and followed me home:

It has all sorts of cools things inside - mini journals, post-it notes, stickers, posters, colouring pages, collage ideas.  I hope these activities bring my anxiety down a couple of notches.

I am starting to get feedback from the first readers of my novel.  Three to date and another meeting tomorrow.  It is nerve-wracking, but the comments so far have been very helpful and supportive.  Who knows?  This novel may be published yet!

Summer seems to be coming to a close - the weather is rainy and cooler and we were SOOOOO tempted to put on the furnace a couple of nights ago.  I REFUSED because it is still AUGUST, but there were extra blankets and a hot water bottle that kept the chill away. 

The weather report is calling for sun and heat this coming week.  We shall see - I am not holding my breath (Unless I am in the pool, and then I am holding my breath!)

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Sunday, August 18, 2019

Yopping Update #7 - All flowy and dancey

I finished the crocheted tank.

I love the colour and how flowy and dancey it is!   I am not sure I would ever wear it anywhere but I do love it.

One intrepid reader took on the math challenge from last week - so check out her answer and my reply on the previous post if you were curious.

That was it on the crafting front.  I had my cortisone shot on Monday and I do think it has helped some.  I am not knitting or crocheting at all, which probably also helps.

We got away camping for two nights with our honourary grand-daughters and had a great time.  I swam in the lake twice, lay in the sun ALL day and we made smores over the fire at night. My friend paddled my around the lake in the kayak and I just sat there like Cleopatra on her barge.  Very relaxing and decadent.  We learned to play Washers, which is a game like horseshoes, and it turns out I was very good at it - and that was using my left arm!  Maybe I am becoming ambidextrous after-all.

This was the first time taking our camper out this year.  What?  True.  And there were a few bumps in the road.  First when we filled up with water we noticed the spigot under the camper was open so the water was just pouring out as we filled it up.  We couldn't get the hatch open to close the spigot - it needed some WD40 so we improvised by plugging the with a pen wrapped in duct tape!   Not pretty but it worked. 

We decided we had better go buy a water jug so we found a hardware store in the little town and when we got out my husband noticed one of the tie downs for the camper was very loose.  As we were inspecting it more closely the bar that the tie down attaches to came off in his hand!  The metal had rusted right through!. So we drove to the lake (another 60 km) with only 3 tie-downs holding our camper on.  The last 17 km was a gravel road and very bumpy.  I was quite anxious about the remaining tie-downs but we made it and hoved into view with two little girls jumping up and down very happy to see us.

I went into the camper to start getting things out for dinner and to turn on the fridge and what met my eyes but all of our plates had fallen out of the cupboard (bumpy road) and there seemed like a mountain of broken dishes.   In reality we only lost three bowls, but Corelle-ware when it shatters, it shatters into a million sharp shards.

Sweeping, dustbin and one bandage later and we were ready to get dinner going.

By morning the WD40 had worked its magic and we got the hatch open.   As it turned out the drinking water at the lake was delicious so the water situation was fine.

We drove home carefully and the camper remained securely on the back of the truck.  On the way home we saw a momma grizzly bear and her two cubs right in the middle of the road.  Very exciting!

That's it for me - I think the cat has forgiven us for being away for two days, and now I have laundry to do and my husband has to get the tie-down bar repaired.


Never a dull moment.

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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.