Saturday, December 26, 2020

Yopping Update #26 - Darn! It has been a good week


Christmas has come, and gone, and all in all it was as fine a Christmas as it could be.  We got to watch our grand-daughter open her Christmas presents thanks to the wonder of Whatsapp, 

a little engineer, or yogi

and then our son was able to join us at our Christmas dinner via Skype.  The three of us shared a meal, and good conversation for about an hour and a half.  It was very heart-warming.  

a view from my son's dinner table

We cooked a 12 pound turkey, and had turkey sandwiches for brunch yesterday and another hot turkey dinner later as well.  I suspect we will be having turkey sandwiches and leftover turkey for a couple more days.  That is all fine and good with me!

We cut down a little cedar tree to put up on Christmas Eve and decorated it with lights and a few knitted ornaments.  It is very sweet. 

On the 23rd I got the last clue for Gnutmeg, the Advent Gnome, and I love it so much.  I am keeping this one for myself.  My own little Elf on a Shelf, or Gnome in my Home.

don't you love his little gnome boots?

Here he is joining all my nativity knits, and advent wreath on the piano.  

I finished the 2nd gnome bauble:

This week I took up darning six pairs of my socks which have been languishing in the darning basket.  

This is my favourite method for darning my handknit socks.  You can find the instructions here

I started my Cinderella Topsy-Turvey doll this week as well.  I have finished the ballgown skirt.

I have some lovely new yarn for the new year thanks to Santa, after I finish this darn rainbow spin I will get into these delicious skeins.

I got out for a walk on Christmas Day before the rains came (and before the turkey went in the oven). 

I have been able to get out for at least an hour a day - I just missed Monday because of snow, but on Tuesday the skies cleared enough so we could go down to the seawall and see the Jupiter/Saturn conjuntion.  That was very cool!

Here's to 2021.  It has GOT to be a better year.  It owes us that much!  Happy New Year all, and here is to more crafting for the 2nd half of our Yopping Year. 

Sunday, December 20, 2020

Yopping Update #25 - Havana!

Well, it is well and truly done! I added an extra row of double crochet for the double border (so technically that is two extra rows) and used 3 3/4 balls to finish the border. 

Despite the size of this blanket I will not win the stashdown tiara for yardage this year as I tried to be down 13,200 yards, but I am about  3000 yards short of making that goal (thanks to the latest knitpicks purchase that I bought for my husband to wrap and put under the tree for me... oops).  On the plus side I will have lots of sock knitting in my future!  And by future I mean January 2021.

I will win the fibre stashdown though because I did not buy any fibre this year and have spun a LOT of fibre I did have.  I do hope to have finished my rainbow spin by December 31st!  That is my goal over the 12 days of Christmas. 

On the Gnutmeg Gnome front we are down to the last few days of the mystery KAL.  I now have a hat, a head, a body, a beard, a nose, two arms (I think), and something else that may or may not be a scarf, or shepherd's crook.  It will all become clear on December 24th!

In the meantime Imagined Landscapes included a Gnome Christmas bauble pattern, and I have finished one in sport weight yarn:

and I just started another in fingering. 

pink with blue and purple gnomes

Today is the fourth Sunday of Advent and I lit all four candles this morning and added the two elemental beings to join the animals, plants and stones.

I am continuing my hour long walks and today I even managed it with only a few drops of rain falling on my head.  I love some of the nature scenes I see along my walks and so here is my picture from this afternoon:

The tree is up at my grand-daughter's house:

and in other news my hair is now long enough to braid into two pig tails!

So that is my update for this week.  We are picking up our Christmas grocery order in a few hours, and the turkey on Thursday.  It will just be the two of us for Christmas, but we are hoping for lots of whatsapp video chats with both our son and daughter.  The mail is very slow, and neither of them have received their parcels, but there is still hope they might get them before Christmas (faint hope is still hope). 

I am still not feeling great, but the anxiety is a little less and keeping busy with walking and crafting helps.  We cut down our Christmas tree today from our back yard and it will go up on Christmas Eve as is our tradition.  

Wishing you all a Merry Christmas and hoping Santa is good to you all and that peace and contentment fill your hearts and your homes. 

Sunday, December 13, 2020

Yopping Update #24 - The never-ending border


This post will be very short.  It is 7:30pm and I haven't been feeling very well over the past week. Blah!

I finished the last section of the Havana and started on the border.  Oh My God - this border is taking forever but I do see the end in sight.  I am doing a double border to avoid weaving in all the ends, but I still had to tie off all the ends, and then make sure as I put in the first l o n g row of slip stitches around the edges that the ends were secured in what will be the middle of the double border.  

Not to mention that I am using a deep blue so I need to sit by a lamp to really see the stitches.  As of today I have finished the backside of the border and I have started the front side.  The pattern calls for four rows of double crochet, but I may make it wider.  We shall see. 

No point posting a picture of the endless border - you get the idea. 

The gnome KAL is going well.  I am all caught up.  The last two clues still are a bit of a mystery as I am not sure what parts they are - I imagine it will become clearer as the clues unfold.  No picture, because, well, mystery. 

My raingear arrived and I have test driven it for two rainy walks.  All I need now is some waterproof mitts!

Except for yesterday I have gotten out for a good hour long walk every day.  This is despite some on-going queasiness.  I am trying to keep my spirits up, but the last few days my spirit has been very low.  The highlight of most days is the call from my Grand-daughter to open the next mitten on the Advent calendar.  

So I crochet the never ending border, I walk, and lately I have been binge watching Dawson's Creek.  Oh how the mighty have fallen.  

I hope everyone is staying well and safe and I truly hope everyone's spirits are higher than mine.  

Things will get better.  They always do.  But boy, I sure could use a break from feeling so crappy.  

Here is my dear grand-daughter and her kitty enjoying a peaceful moment.  

Cuddled up in the quilt I made her momma 32 years ago!

Sunday, December 6, 2020

Yopping Update #23 - Colour B(l)ind

Oh my, it is getting late, so I had better get this blog post on its way.  Not sure where the whole day went - puzzling with my son, opening advent mitts with my grand-daughter, walking, dishes, playing wordscapes....and now it is five pm and sooooo dark outside.  Thank goodness dh is making a roast ham supper.  I am famished. 

I decided to frog the Kangaroo Momma and put it in hibernation.  She was much bigger than I thought and I wasn't having any fun, so perhaps in the future I will just make the Joey.  

On December 1 I got the first clue for the Advent Gnome knit-a-long.  We have had three clues already and I have so far knit a beard, a nose and most of a hat!  I can't post any pictures because it is a mystery knit along. 

On Monday (or was it Tuesday) my Knitpick order arrived so I could pick up the Havana once again.  I finished the last few rows of pattern 5 and then started on pattern 6.  I was hemming and hawing over the colour choice for the last two patterns and decided to switch the orange for the yellow.  

I was happy with the switch but then last night when it was time to start pattern seven I started with the orange and I HATED how it was against the I went to my stash and found a lighter yellow and a lighter orange and started rows of crochet to see what I thought.  In the end I went with the paler yellow - the oranges just weren't cutting it with the purples.  So I will finish pattern seven sometime in the upcoming week and then I can start the border.  I am going to do a double border so there won't be ALL those ends to weave in - could you even imagine weaving all these ends in?  Nope.  Me neither. 

So that was my crafting week.  

My cough is getting better and I did get outside for walks everyday except yesterday when I chose to use my energy to rake up three compost bins worth of maple and cedar leaves.  I am glad I did that yesterday in the glorious sun because today it is raining and it is suppose to continue raining for days to come.  Hopefully  the raingear I ordered will arrive soon so I can continue my outdoor walks without returning looking like a drenched rat.  

I FINISHED my virtual Camino de Santiago on Thursday - 481 miles.  I have been walking on that since May 27, 2020.  I then immediately joined the Iceland Ring Road which is 828 miles.  I figure that will take me a year at the rate I walk, but it is fun getting the updates of where I am and what I would be seeing if I was truly there.  Two friends are doing the Ring Road as well so we can cheer each other on. 

We have been having daily video chats with my daughter and grand-daughter as we open up the advent knits I made last year.  So far a snowman, two sweaters, a poinsettia, a mouse and a lamb have been opened and are hanging on the mantle strung between the lights.  It is a lovely tradition we have started. 

This morning we even got my son into the call
grand-daughter was having none of it

So that is my week.  I have to get my son's parcel into the mail this week.  He was going to drive down for Christmas but the cases in his province and ours are nowhere near under control so we have decided to stay safe and we will celebrate Christmas over zoom, or whatsapp, or skype - or perhaps all three (not at the same time).  

Here's crossing fingers and toes that the vaccine is available soon and as I told my daughter as soon as it is safe to travel we will be heading to Croatia - with bells on!
Can you see the wee pink flower I discovered on my walk a couple of days ago.  Hope does indeed spring eternal.  
Take care everyone.  That is an order from this Canadian bossy boots!

Sunday, November 29, 2020

Yopping Update #22 - Christmas Knitting done


Jumping right in with today's update.  I go a new phone on Friday so I have been playing around with the set up and trying not to get frustrated because it doesn't work the same as my old one.  But hey, learning new things is good for the old brain, right?

Once I finished making the staff and shepherds' crooks for my nativity scene I was projectless!

wrapped leather around pipe cleaners 

whittled Joseph's staff

My Knitpick order hasn't arrived yet so the Havana is still in timeout.  I started the Kangaroo mother with baby, but I kept messing up the stitch count - newbie crocheter here and I always have trouble finding the end of one round and the beginning of the next so it was put into timeout for bad behaviour. Mine.

Then I remembered I had some Christmas Knitting to do for my son.  He wanted a helmet liner, but with a piece that goes down over his shoulder for extra warmth when skiing.

So I cast on a top down sweater with a provisional cast-on, and then when I got to the place to divide for the sleeves I bound it off.  I then picked up the provisional cast-on and made the helmet as the pattern prescribed. 

I ended up with this:

I even modelled it ( a bit big on me)

So last night I inventoried my remaining stash, and today I will get back to the Mother Kangaroo and hope that my wool order is over the border and winging its way to me so the Havana can be resumed.  I do have an Advent knit starting December 1st - another gnome-a-long - which I am very much looking forward to.

I got out this past week for quite a few long (wet) walks.  Friday I had my bronchoscopy and between the sedative wearing off and the after-procedure cough - I have laid pretty low the past two days.  I hope to get out for a short walk today if I can find a place with fewer (or better yet, no) other people.  

I didn't get my Christmas lights up yet, as planned, so after I do the laundry I am going to dig them out and put them around the window.  I am also going to dig around for my raingear which I think is also in the basement, or maybe the camper.  If I am going to keep up with my hour walks in the rain I need better outerwear. 

And so, December is almost here....Christmas is going to be very different this year...simpler, missing family, but Christmas will still come.  It always does. 

I will leave you with this cutie-pie.

who? Me?

Sunday, November 22, 2020

Yopping Update #21 - For unto us a child is born

 I have finished the Nativity scene (well except for the shepherds' hooks and Joseph's staff. ) 

I ran out of light green on pattern five of the Havana, and my order hasn't yet arrived from KnitPicks so I spent the week researching free patterns and then knitting the missing pieces of my Nativity scene.  

The wisemen's camel

Mary's donkey

The ox

And Angel Gabriel

As of last night I had nothing on my needles and nothing left to stuff or sew together.  Ok, I could have started whittling the crooks and staff, but it wasn't something I was going to start at 10pm.

I am very please with the results and the top of my piano looks amazing!

Today I will start the mother Kangaroo and her baby with my homespun, and of course there is always spinning to do while I wait for my wool order. 

Other than knitting all the animals for the manger scene it has been a quiet (ish) week.  I did get my pneumonia shot on Monday and at the same time had a whack of blood tests (9 vials!!).  So far all results are good.  I am scheduled to have an in-hospital day-procedure so the doctors can look around my lungs - but I am wondering if it will be postponed due to the rise in CoVid cases.  There has been an outbreak at my local hospital so I am not hopeful that they can fit me in anytime soon.  

I have been walking outside everyday, rain or shine (only one day of shine) and discovering new trails in my neighbourhood which is breaking up the routine a little. 

I have noticed many houses are putting up their Christmas lights and it is very cheery, what with November skies, and CoVid lockdown ,so I think today I will follow suit.  This is a huge departure for me as I usually don't decorate for Christmas until around the 21st  of December.  Sometimes even as late as Christmas Eve as was my family's tradition.  However, this year I think I need all the twinkling lights I can find to brighten the evenings. 

Our province is under travel restrictions - don't leave your own municipality, and also no visitors to your house - only socialize with the ones you live with.  When we went to the beach yesterday for a short walk it seemed that many people weren't following the recommendations.  The basketball court and skatepark were full of people, none with masks, and definitely not social distancing.  It made us nervous so we walked on the sand as the seawalk was also very crowded.  It was a lovely walk though - the sun was setting and shining on the ocean and when we turned around the snow on the local mountains was shining with gold.  

I am progressing on my virtual Camino walk - only 32 miles to go.  I have a friend doing the same walk and she is closer to the finish line, so this week we are going to pick another challenge to do once we reach this finish line.  Stay tuned. 

I am going to rake some more leaves before the rains start again.  The cedar fall looks beautiful, as do the maple leaves, but the lawn is thick with them, as is the driveway, and when wet the leaves are very slippery. 

We have had many lovely video chats with our grand-daughter - many featuring her new kitty whom she calls Black Kitty so I think the name is going to stick.  

I pray you are all well and safe and busy with hobbies, or raking, or walking, or whatever will take your mind off the current situation of our lives.  2020 - a year for the history books indeed. 

Here is picture from last night's video chat - gd was concentrating very hard on the coins she was cooking in her little frying pan.  She is wearing a lovely sweater hand-knit by her auntie, my sister.

Sunday, November 15, 2020

Yopping Update #20 - Spinning around

 I forgot last week to mention two things I worked on so I am going to get those out before anything else. 

My rainbow spin - I am still working on this and I do see the end in sight.  I have four more groups of the six colours and I can do a group in a couple of maybe by next week I will have it all ready to ply. 

While working on my Havana, I noticed that the raised print on my crochet hook was really irritating my thumb.  I checked all my hooks, and they all had some sort of writing in the little indentation where your thumb goes.  That doesn't seem smart.  So.....I went onto Amazon and I ordered some pencil grips and modified my hook to look like this.  

works like a charm

I have continued the weekly decluttering challenge and this week it was magazines and knitting/tatting/doily booklets - 24 in all!

I also found a home from a balance board I had in storage with the user manual and an accompanying book.  I am happy a dear friend of mine can use it in her classroom. 

I am almost done the creche - I need to find the perfect sticks for the shepherd crooks and Joseph's staff.  I also have been looking to find a pattern to knit a donkey, ox, and camel.  I will also add an angel.  So I guess I am not as done as I thought - but done as the pattern was written!

My Havana is coming along spendidly.  

I am on pattern 5.  I realized that I won't have enough yellow for pattern 7 so I made another Knitpick order.  I also had to do the math to figure out how much yarn I need for the double border.  I hope I calculated right - 500 gms I think - about 1400 yds.  I ordered a few extras (had to get the free shipping after all), and I will give them to my hubby to wrap up for my Christmas present.  We won't be going into the stores so agreed to order ourselves something online for the other to wrap up and put under the tree. This year our tree will probably be another little cedar from our yard, or I am even toying with decorating our Jade Tree.  

So there is my week.  I have got out for a few forest/pond walks, and we had a very few snowflakes fall earlier in the week.  It was cold enough one day that I wore my handspun/handknit toque and mitts.  I was feeling very stylish..and warm. 

The days seem to go by quickly and my only in person group meeting has been cancelled by government orders because the CoVid cases are going up and up here in my little province.  I do have a hospital procedure coming up in the next couple of weeks so I am a wee bit anxious about the mask/sanitizing protocols, but I imagine the doctors know how to keep me (and them) safe. 

My dear little grand-daughter has a new addition to her family.  

meet her little black kitty

I am so grateful for our almost daily whatsapp video chats.  She calls while her momma is making her breakfast, and we are almost ready for bed.  The nine hour time difference works well for our daily visits.  

So off for a walk before the next rain prediction comes true.  Happy Sunday all.  Stay safe.