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.

Sunday, November 8, 2020

Yopping Update #19 - Walking in Puddles


I had a tricky time coming up with a title for today's post.  It has been a good week all in all and puddles were a big part of it - they bring out my inner child. 

My nativity scene is coming along. I got all the arms and hands sewn up and stuffed, but more importantly I soaked all the cloaks to get them ready to block on the figures.  

They weren't drying quickly enough so they have been taking over the kitchen table in the sunny window and I they should be ready to sew on tomorrow. 

I started my Havana!  I took quite a while to sort how I wanted the colours to fade and finally decided on this:

I didn't have enough of the red (top row, 2nd from the right, so the second pattern has some pink added into the middle of it.  Tonight I will start on pattern 3.  

I am surprised with how quickly this is going, and the patterns are easy to remember after a few lines so it is good TV crocheting.  (Unless I am watching Rita, on Netflix, which is all subtitles!)

Becky inspired me with her de-cluttering of bias tape last month, so I went through my bias tape drawer and even though I kept a dozen or so I did get this bag ready to donate:

I also sorted out my recipe box - it is much more manageable and better organized, and now only contains recipes I actually use.  

I did get outside everyday last week: two days were raking leaves, but the other five were walking.  Two of the walking days were in heavy rainfall, but I have new rubber boots so allowed myself to stomp through many muddy puddles.  I do need some rain pants though as I was very dry when I got home except for the top of my knees where my coat dripped down and soaked my jeans.  I sent my grand-daughter a pair of rain pants, now I need to get some for myself if I am going to continue these rainy day walks (which my neck of the woods is famous for!)

I did snap this lovely picture of fall leaves - I love how the big tree, little tree and bush were all the same colour.
not my house

I did mention to my son that yesterday I was raking leaves in the sun in just a shirt - no jacket. (Well, I did have pants on too). Today he woke up to this in his hometown city one province over:

So that is my week.  Some crochet, some walking, some raking, some blocking, some sewing, some sorting, some de-cluttering and yes, I admit, some time spent watching the US election  - oh the drama!

I will leave you with my dear grand-daughter playing with her new 'toy'.  To be fair - it wasn't raining at the time!

Have a great week dear Readers.  I am wishing you all a peaceful, healthy, drama-free rest of 2020 and beyond! 

Sunday, November 1, 2020

Yopping Update #18 - It's a beginning

First of all, I have finished the Tipsy Toe Socks.  It does create quite the optical illusion.  These are toe up socks, but the cast-on edge sits askew on the foot rather than in the centre so that short rows can create the diagonal lines.  I am very happy with the finish, even though I had to knit the sock three times instead of two because these seem to fit big. Plus on the first sock I had to rip out the toe three times until I got the shadow wraps working properly.  All in all a great learning experience.  It is a free pattern which you can find here and there is a good picture that explains where the cast-on edge is and how the wedges work to create the illusion.  The leg is suppose to be a plain stocking knit, but I added a Camino de Santiago shell to commemorate the virtual walk I am doing.  I only have 85 more miles to go!!

I love fraternal socks!

Then it was onto the Nativity scene.  One night I worked on the manger and the baby Jesus.  The next night it was the three sheep.  The next was the three kings crowns, and their gifts.  Yesterday morning I worked on sewing up seven pairs of hands, and last night I started to put the bodies together.  
Here is my progress so far:

We turned off our porch light last night to signal we weren't opening the door to trick-or -treaters but we did carve ourselves a pumpkin and enjoyed it through the evening. 

group effort carving with dh

It was my grand-daughter's first Hallowe'en.  What a little devil!!

I am feeling much better this week.  The sun has been out, and I have had a few lovely walks in the autumn leaves.  Today I even raked some of them up!  

I hope you are all doing well, and to follow other yoppers you can check the links at the top right hand side of this post.