Sunday, March 27, 2022

Yopping Update #39 - Knitting Belt practising continues

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All the knitting I did this week was using my shetland knitting belt.  First I started and finished a gansey toque to match my Dragon Gansey.

The long dpn's my dear sister sent me were sizes 3.25mm and 3.5mm and both have been handy for the toque above, and the toddler gansey I started a couple of days ago with the leftover Frangipani I have after finishing the Dragon and the Toque. 

Ready to start pattern motifs today

I have been working everyday on my Lento Cowl - Wolhobby releases five rows a day and it is such a cheerful project.  It reminds me of spring flowers and fields of tulips. We don't get any rows on Sundays - it is our day of rest so here I am all caught up to yesterday.  

We are past the half way point.  Since we started with a provisional cast on I am assuming at the end we will fold the cowl in half for the bind off and it will be doubly squishing and only the right side will show no matter which way it is worn.  

Our son went home on Monday afternoon, but we spent the last couple of hours watching birds and having lunch by the ocean.  Here he is - wearing the sweater I knit him a year ago!

He captured this picture of a gull in flight:

And yesterday in his home province he got this juvenile bald eagle:

On our bird walk on Sunday I snapped this picture of a spotted towee that seemed very brave and got quite close to us. 

On Thursday afternoon I was interviewed by Dottie Widmann from The NetLoft in Cordova Alaska about my latest gansey.  It was a wonderful experience.  She recorded the interview and I will ask her if I can link it here when she has it ready to post.  

I came down with a fever and snuffly nose on Friday - and have been staying in, mostly sleeping so the weekend has been a bust as far as getting outside, or really getting anything done.  I did two Covid tests and they were both negative so I am certain it is just a cold.  My son seems to have the same cold, and he also took a few Covid tests which were all negative, so we are certain it is just the common cold.  He joked that we are not used to being sick or fighting a virus after being isolated for two years.  I think he is right about that. I am feeling quite a bit better today and plan to go bird watching with my hubby, and for sure I will get out of my pajamas. Hey I did finally have a shower last night, so getting out of my pajamas is definitely doable!

The hopeful news this week is that my daughter and her family may well be coming to visit this summer.  Fingers and toes crossed it can happen.  I am already planning outings, and activities we can do together.  There will be SWIMMING.  

Here is wishing for all my dear readers that as well as happy crafting and gardening, there will be hopeful news for all of you this coming week.  

Indian Plum

cool pine cones I saw on Sunday's walk

Sunday, March 20, 2022

Yopping Update #38 - Lots to see here

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Happy First Day of Spring!  And not a moment too soon in my books. 

I have had a very productive week finishing projects, starting projects and getting caught up on projects. 

First my finish. 

Archie the Squirrel

Having a little chit-chat with Maisie the Pig

I spent a whole day and evening sewing Archie together and told my sister if I ever talk about making another stuffy to talk me out of it.  I dislike the sewing together part of the program and I vowed to only make little outfits for Maisie in the near future.  Archie will head home with my son tomorrow.  It did seem appropriate that Archie had on green shoes and a green vest as he greeted my son on Saint Patrick's Day. 

Once Archie was completed I set to getting caught up on Wolhobby's Lento Cowl KAL.  I signed up for this Lenten KAL since I enjoyed the Advent scarf so much.  Every day of Lent she sends out five more rows. I started last Sunday and as of last night I was caught up.  She doesn't release any rows on Sundays so I have a day to catch my breath.  I have been knitting this using my knitting belt and long double point needles.  I am really getting the hang of the belt, and by the time this is finished I will be ready to start my son's gansey using that method. 

Colour A(variegated) and Colour B (solid)

Loving how these colours are working up

I had some spinning that was in process and I had been ignoring, and then I looked up my spinning challenge and realized I was suppose to finish it by today.  So Thursday and Friday I spent combing and dizzing and spinning and plying.  I learned a lot about combing locks and was very happy with the first result. 

blonde locks (breed unknown)

I then tackled some Romney crossbreed fleece I had that was from the stash of our best man's mother.  The Fibre was about fifty years old and FILLED with vegetable matter.  Combing was very difficult (and frustrating) and the fleece was FULL of lanolin.  I did the best I could and spun what was left over after combing.  There was still a lot of grass that I tried to pick out while spinning.  I andean plied what I had and the result is a very rustic looking yarn.  I probably will use it for a very rustic gnome one day. 

I then turned to the 8gms of alpaca locks I had.  Combing it was relatively easy but oh my did it every create a LOT of static electricity.  I had to spritz it with water in order to spin it, but it spun up quickly and beautifully.  

I Andean plied the Romney and the Alpace because I had so little of each and all on one bobbin.  I had forgotten how to make an Andean bracelet and from memory I hadn't done it 'correctly' but it worked.  By the third try I finally looked it up on the internet - I was surprised to find my wonky versions had worked anyways. I do like Andean plying because it always works out evenly as when I try to ply off of two bobbins it seems the amount on each bobbin, even if they weigh the same, is less accurate and I end up either Andean plying (2ply) or Navaho plying (3 ply) the remainder anyways. 

So last night I settled to watch netflix and what?  Nothing on my needles.  Shocking I know.  So I whipped up my March Advent gnomes.  My sister sent me a parcel and included were some little balls of remnants she donated to the gnome project. 


the green one's beard kinda took over 

They still need there numbers embroidered on their backs but that will be for later today. 

My son is here for another two days.  He has been busy with two shows, and filming a video the last two days but now we can just hang out until he flys home tomorrow evening. Yay!  I took him to see the little hummingbird in her nest and he has taken some pictures with his good camera.  When he develops them and sends some to me I will share them on this blog.

Oh yes, I forgot to share my Knitpicks order arrived!  (Which is why I could start the Lento Cowl).

The other treats in the parcel from my sister where three sets of long dpn's to use with my knitting belt in sizes I didn't yet have - 2mm, 3.5mm, and 3.75 mm.

She also returned my latest novel which I had sent her to read and to give me feedback on.  She included some very helpful notes so I have somewhere to start with the next round of edits. 

I am also still working on transcribing my parents' war letters.  They are certainly giving me an insight into who they were as nineteen and twenty year olds and pictures of their lives during the war. 

Lastly I got this book from the library. 

It is very interesting and I think it will be helpful as I get back into my watercolour painting this spring.  The Net Loft group are studying this book, and they were talking about it a little bit on our last Gansey zoom meeting and luckily I found it at my local library. 

Speaking of the gansey group - they want to interview me about my latest gansey next Thursday.  That is exciting, eh?  I will let you know how it went next week. 

Until then - happy crafting, and don't forget SPRING IS HERE!


Sunday, March 13, 2022

Yopping Update #37 - More wee little clothes

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Well all the pieces are knit for the mystery animal, and there was only one guess and it was incorrect.  Tee Hee.  Stay tuned as I am sure he will be all put together by next week. 

To avoid the dreaded sewing together and stuffing all the pieces I opted to make all his clothes instead.  

I only have one and a half shoes to finish and then I will begin the putting together part of the program. 

The best part of my week though was discovering this:

I went for a walk on Tuesday - I was very grumpy and didn't want to go for a walk.  As I past a cedar tree down by the creek I saw a hummingbird fly into the tree.  I decided to follow it and lo and behold there she was sitting in her little nest!  I was so excited as I have always wanted to see a hummingbird nest in nature (I did see many in the Arizona Desert Museum hummingbird sanctuary in 2018) - and now I have seen one in my own neighbourhood!  Needless to say every day since I have made sure my walks take me by that tree so I can peek in on her.  

Otherwise I have been slowly transcribing my parents's war letters, editting my second novel, and binge watching Peaky Blinders.  Such is the life of the retired. 

My son is coming for a visit on Thursday for a long weekend and so there will be some straightening up of the spare room in anticipation of his arrival - (mostly dh has to get all his 'projects' relocated to the basement - but probably they will end up in my craft room.)

Speaking of dh I did finally hem three pairs of jeans for him - something I had been meaning to do for a while.  I did a skookum job if I do say so myself.

I heard from the doctor about my echo results.  No significant change over the last year and really over the last two years so he has taken me off the medication since it is not making any difference anyways.  I am still in the LONG cue for a PETscan to rule out one last possibility as to why my heart is not pumping as it should.  In my humble opinion I have to wonder if that is just the way my heart has always functioned - but I will follow down this one last rabbit hole before it is all put to rest.  It does mean an echo every year but that isn't invasive and I am glad to be off the medication as it lowers my already low blood pressure so I do have to be careful getting up too fast from sitting or else I get quite dizzy. 

Okay, that's it for me.  Knitting and Hummingbird nests, and on my walks lots of signs of spring.  It is only seven days away, but who's counting.  Me!  That's who.

Sunday, March 6, 2022

Yopping Update #36 - Wee little clothes

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Ready or not here I am!  My gansey is off the blocking mat and on me!

thanks to the weather I have been wearing this all week. 

I have been knitting little clothes for Maisie the Pig - she now has a cardigan and a pair of French Knickers and one shoe.

One shoe?  Yes one shoe because I ran out of yarn half way through the second shoe - so, oh dear, I had to place another yarn order.  Of course I didn't just order the one ball of yarn - so I am waiting for six more balls to arrive at my door this coming week and then I can finish the 2nd shoe and perhaps add the missing rows to her dress as well. 

Meanwhile I started another animal.  Can you tell what it will be from the pieces? 

Stay tuned. 

That's it on the knitting front.  My son is coming for a visit in two weeks so I will get him to pick out the motifs for his gansey and then order the yarn to get started on that. 

I have been doing some more combing and spinning - slow going - I am just not into spinning too much these days. 

I started transcribing my parents' war letters.  It is quite an experience to read words they wrote when they first met and married.  It is also something to read about some of the experiences my father had overseas.  It is slow going - now I know where I inherited my horrible handwriting - from both of them!

Other than that I have noticed my mood is improving - and until the last three days I can't say it is because of the weather - it was very wet and cold up until Friday.  I took advantage the last two days of walking out in the sunshine, and yesterday bought a coffee and sat in the plaze and people watched for about thirty minutes.  Today it is lovely and sunny and all those sticks and cedar fall in the front and back yard are not going to rake themselves. After I post this I will head out to load up my green waste bins. 

The visit last Sunday with my two nephews was wonderful.  We didn't stop talking from the time they arrived until they left four hours later.  It was grand!

Speaking of grand - my daughter and her family went on a hike this past week and I received some lovely photos I will share with your before signing off. 

Happy crafting all!

gd's friend taking the lead

and at the top they found SNOW!