Sunday, April 26, 2020

Yopping update #43 - The problem with baking at home....

I was craving a scone this week, and since I can't zip down to Delaney's to get one - I decided to try making some gluten free ones at home.  They worked!  The problem is that they taste best right out of the oven, with butter and jam, and the recipe made 11.  So there has been quite a few scones with tea this week.  So yummy.  I know I could freeze them, but where is the fun in that.

Today I started the dough for my first sourdough loaf (gluten free or otherwise) and I will report back next week.  Dutch oven and pizza stone at the ready.  Don't ask me, I am just following the recipe!

Now, onto the crafting.  I finished my nephew's viking:

Not as fiddly a knit and put together as I thought it might be.  Good old Alan Dart patterns are meticulously written up which is good.

Then I realized I had the right colours for my sock monkey ornament.

he looks more like yogi bear, but whatever
I was out of projects because the wool for my daughter's sweater hadn't arrived so I did a few more rows of the Spice of Life blanket, but then was out of colours until I finish the Wrapped in Jamie CAL.  I plan to use the left-overs from WIJ to finish the Spice of Life.  It seems my crochet is like dominoes - one project depending on another.  I did play around with a star ornament with some leftover yellow I had, but each time I was almost finished I ran out of wool.  So after losing at yarn chicken three times, I made a tiny one, and then put that on the back burner.

So what did I do when I couldn't continue crocheting anything.

I knit socks of course
These are for my granddaughter and I am sure they will fit her by the time I get to see her again.  I made the toddler size, TinCanKnits Rye lights, but the foot is 6 inches so they are definitely for a giant toddler or a regular sized child.  She can grow into them.  I was about to start on a pair for myself with three different leftover bits of brownish wool, but was saved because Petra released Square 10 on the Wrapped in Jamie CAL last night.

Hunter - Square 10
I got to  row 13 last night!

It was an up and down (mostly down) week mental health wise.  Some tears, some frustration, and a mini panic attack when I went out alone in the car to pick up some wool.  I did get the wool, as it was a contact-less pick-up, but I was freaked out about gate latches.  The wool is in the trunk of my car and will stay there until Tuesday.  It was lovely to see the cherry trees in bloom, and I drove up a street that was full of flowering dogwood trees.  Balm for the soul.  Our apple tree is just starting to bloom.  Spring is here.  Hope springs.

So about that wool pickup.  Someone posted on our knit group's Ravelry forum that they were de-stashing.  No harm in looking I thought.  Right?  Right.  Well she had this lovely green Fleece Artist wool - part of it already knit up - $150 worth of wool that she would let go for $30.  Could I say no?  In a word, no.  I am sure I will find something wonderful to make with it.  I made my daughter some socks out of Fleece Artist many years ago and I loved it.  So stay tuned.  Next week it will be out of my trunk, frogged and ready to go.

doesn't this just shout SPRING
I did five Abotti classes, and attended my CoDA meeting and a WW workshop all via zoom. We got groceries delivered on Tuesday and my dh went out and got a few other things on Wednesday so we are well stocked now.

Yesterday a friend picked up 40 pounds of kitty litter for Otis, so he is set for quite a while.  She stood on my front lawn and I stood in my doorway and we had a good old chin wag.  It was lovely to see her and I am so thankful for her friendship.  (She also dropped off some gluten free ginger cookies so my husband and I are enjoying those immensely.

I am missing my children so much, but today my daughter sent a number of pics and a video of our grand-daughter playing with her aunt's new puppy.  I think they will become fast friends.

The little yogini showing her new friend downward facing dog
Take care.  Be kind.  Stay calm.

Sunday, April 19, 2020

Yopping Update #42 - I NEED more stitch markers

Here I sit drinking BLACK coffee.  I ran out of milk yesterday and we won't get groceries until Tuesday afternoon.  I can do this. Right?  I added some collagen powder to the BLACK coffee - that is how desperate I am people.

Now, back to real problems.  I NEED more stitch markers.  Anyone that has been following my blog may remember a post I wrote years ago about my, ahem shall we say, 'problem' with stitch markers.
You can read about it here.

Anyways....I was working this week on getting caught up on the Wrapped in Jamie CAL and as a very newbie crocheter I was using a fair number of stitch markers to keep track of things - and for the most part I had enough.  Then this happened:

56 stitch markers!
Now as you can see I clearly had enough stitch markers - but I find the french pins don't slide in and out of the stitch as easily as the plastic ones.  So, already having a bad mental health day on April 14th (I think that was last Tuesday), I sent this text to my sister -

I think her response might be (by some) considered enabling behaviour

It may seem funny now (not), and clearly I meant to type gonna instead of goona, but I was in quite a state at the time.  I was also going to write a blog post this week called  - Fuck being brave, but as my uncle used to say - calmer heads prevailed.

So it has been that kind of a week.

Crocheting got done:

square 7 - The Duel
Scars - Square 8

Square 9 - Rebekkah
Border also done - but too lazy to take another picture
Pattern 10 is being released  at the end of the month - so I played around a little with the placement of the first nine squares:

There was some spinning and plying too:

50 meters
good colour for my one of the three kings I think
My sourdough starter took off

so I took out some discard and re-fed it.  My scottish heritage wouldn't let me throw out the discard so I made some yummy sourdough/cornmeal/blueberry/raspberry muffins.

I had nothing on my needles - and although the wool has been shipped for my daughter's sweater it hasn't arrived yet.  But my dear sister came to the rescue and this arrived by expedited post.

her son wants Victor the Viking for his car's antennae
which I have already made some progress on:
can we say labour of love?
There was a few zoom meetings, and even a zoom karaoke night which was silly fun and finally put a smile on my face.  Earlier in the day my twelve step group had a zoom meeting that took about 30 minutes for us all to get in and sorted.  I joked that now we all REALLY needed the meeting - and it was good to decompress surrounded by supporting friends.

I did get around to finishing the edits on my novel - now to finalize the formatting and then we shall see what comes next.  I am seriously thinking of just self-publishing as an ebook to get it out into the world.  But, as I said, we shall see.

We got an order of meat and dry goods on Friday, and on Tuesday we will put in an order for some fresh vegetable, fruit, and MILK!.  God help me - two more mornings of BLACK coffee.

We had a lovely whatsapp video chat with our daughter this morning.  Our grand-daughter kept pointing at us saying YOU!  Too cute.  She calls me Baku and my dh is Paku.  We love those names.

I finished the Neil Gaiman book, Anansi Boys, and I really enjoyed it.  Now I am starting The Last Station, by Jay Parini.  It is a novel about Tolstoy's Final Year.  I want to read the book before I see the movie.

I have been watching 800 Words on Acorn TV and enjoying it very much.  Low key drama about a father and two teenagers who move to New Zealand from Australia after the mom dies.  Lots of quirky locals to contend with, and beautiful scenery too.

Take care, dear readers, and don't bother suggesting solutions for my stitch marker addiction.  I know, I know admitting you have a problem is the first step.

no problems here!

Sunday, April 12, 2020

Yopping Update #41 - Ooops I did it again

Yes, I did do it again.  My dear daughter wanted a sweater and I didn't have any wool in my stash so I found the perfect washable Cascade 220 aran weight and I ordered it from back east.  The store is called Wool Tyme and because of the quantity I ordered the shipping was free plus they donate 10% of your order amount to a local food bank.  I call that a win-win.  I was notified it was shipped yesterday so next week I should have photo proof.  (So much for prolonged stash-busting this year).

I spun half of this:

But mostly I have been crocheting the squares from Black Sheep Crochet - Wrapped in Jamie CAL.

Guard his Right - Square 4

Goodbye Mama - Square 3
Today I will start the border on square 7 - The Duel, and then two more squares and I will be caught up with the CAL as square 9 was recently released.  I think by then the wool will have arrived for my daughter's sweater.

The Duel - Square 7 
I love the design with the crossed swords with the heart in the middle.

I also got out this pattern to knit a nativity scene.  I think I will have enough of this and that in my worsted stash to begin these sometime in the near future.  Or maybe they will be on my list of projects starting in July!

I have been zooming a lot!!  Exercise classes, dance parties, happy hours, and yesterday morning a yopping zoom.  It was so wonderful to see and chat with new friends, and I can't wait to do it again.  I hope more yoppers join next time.  Thankful to Maria for setting it up.

There has been lots of whatsapp video chats with our daughter, grand-daughter and son-in-law.  Today we got a picture of said grand-daughter peeling her first dyed easter egg.

We also got one of her splashing in the sea with her momma.  So special to stay connected this way.

We got our groceries delivered on Tuesday, and still no bread yeast, so with urging from my son I began a sourdough starter on Friday.  It is starting to smell yeasty, and since I didn't have any cheesecloth I wrapped it in one of my grandmother's very thin linen table cloths.

I see bubbles.  Do you see bubbles?

I think the holes will allow the yeast in and keep the flies out
We are still being vigilant here so as not to possibly infect each other as my husband has had to go out a few times - one was to get storage insurance for our truck.  They wouldn't do it over the phone. Grrrr.

Separate bedrooms, separate bathrooms, and now I have his and her dishes on the table so we don't have to keep reaching into the cupboards.  The tulips were a lovely gift from a friend when she dropped off the much needed cat food for Otis.  Otis is soooo happy to have his usual food back in his dish.

Top Right is a Betty Magnet (that is my side),
Top Left is an Archie Magnet (that is his side).  lol
I will end with a little levity.  Every night at 7pm people in and around Vancouver neighbourhoods go out on their porches to make noise to cheer on the Health Care Workers.  People set off fireworks, bang pots and pans, set off car horns, and cheer.  I have been taking my grandfather's bugle out onto the porch.  My husband couldn't resist getting it on camera.   Enjoy!

To follow other yoppers their links are up at the top right of this post.  Stay well.  Stay home.  Stay connected.

Zoom on. (or text, or email, or even use the land line telephone.  What?  Really!)

Sunday, April 5, 2020

Yopping Update #40 - Happiness is yarn delivery

There has been a lot of crocheting this week.  As I was waiting for my Knit Picks order I realized I had some pink cotton to work on Petra's (Black Sheep Crochet) Love is in the air square.  I made three of them.  

Look at all those hearts!
Then on Friday this happened!

A box of happiness
This meant that yesterday I could pick up where I left off on my two squares that were missing their border.  I worked on it all day yesterday, two at a time, so I got both squares through to row 27.  What I am most proud of is now I don't have to look at the pattern all the time, and the stitches and spacing is becoming more intuitive.  I am definitely coming out of this self-isolation an intermediate crocheter for sure.  

squares # 6 and #5

Square #3 is up next -  I was waiting for the green to arrive to start it. Colours are at the ready now.

Square #9 was just published so I am getting close to being caught up

I finished spinning and plying my brown windy hill fibre, and I am half way through another spin - so yay me!!
maybe just right for my sock yarn monkey

I finished my cowl from my homespun - the grey and green - the black and white are leftovers from other projects.  The pattern is free on Ravelry.  It is called I'll Pack a Cowl for Rhinebeck.  One day my sister and I will get there.  
how cute is that little alpaca in the middle of  the sheep?

I did some baking - because I was in cookie withdrawal, and I also made some cornmeal muffins for our chili fest. 

gf peanut butter and oatmeal (no flour at all)

so good warm with butter
I am trying to take on more cooking responsibility while also using up ingredients in our fridge and freezer.  I was emailed a recipe for spanish paella, and I had both the chorizo and the prawns so I gave it a whirl.  

needs more spice, and I think some chicken next time

I have been attending a number of zoom initiatives.  Abotti with Antonietta classes every weekday.  It is a low impact 30 minute workout.  Also my knit group has been getting together via Zoom, and on Thursday there was an instructor meeting for the institute I teach at.  I had already decided not to teach this summer until my hip and arm pain is resolved, but I joined in just to see how everyone was doing and to give some possible feedback on how they will teach this summer via the internet.  

I attended three WW zoom workshops.  It is so great to see all my friends, and we have some laughs (and some tears), and support each other despite not being able to get together in person.  

We had another grocery order delivered on Wednesday.  Otis, the cat, is complaining about the food I bought him - not his usual brand - but hey, we all have to dig in and dig deep during this strange time. 

I am finally getting caught up on the final season of Game of Thrones (no spoilers in comments please), and I subscribed to Acorn TV and I am enjoying The Indian Doctor.  I let my fitbit remind me to get up and move every hour for ten minutes.  So there is that.  

And yesterday I woke up to snow.  Not a lot, but the deck and railings were covered and himself, the cat, was not amused.  

Lots of facetime with dear grand-daughter (and her parents) , but, alas no pics this week for you dear readers.  My son has been checking in by phone everyday and on Friday night we played a card game via the app Board Game Arena.  

Here is himself.  As soon as I go to bed, he comes and plops himself down right by my head. 

and yes, his back end is always in my face - sigh. 
Take care everyone.  I think it was Winston Churchill that said "When you find yourself going through hell, keep going."  Wise words.