Tuesday, February 7, 2023

Yop Update Week 32 - Knitting with Handspun

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I have two projects on the go using my very own handspun.  A Cowichan-style vest, and a toque.  I love how the vest is coming along.  Here is my progress so far - the back is done!

And my toque is on the blocking mat:

Both of these projects are with my handspun and that was one of my goals for myYear of Projects!

I have two pairs of socks on the needles, but no more progress to show and I also have started my Night Owl Mitts, but they are lanquishing in my wip (works in progress) basket and I have been actively ignoring them for the time being. 

I have been swimming twice in the ocean since getting home.  The ocean temperature is a brisk 6C.  Suffice to say I only stayed in 6 minutes each time.  

I also renewed my membership to the indoor pool and have been four times already - it is good to swim some distance in warmish water!

I took an Introduction to WaterColour Journalling last Saturday and it has been taking up much of my time since then. I am enjoying the step by step approach.  Here is an exercise which was to map my paint box:

Part of the course was to commit to making a watercolour gratitude journal and to create a small sketch for each day.  I decided to make a 'gratitude in a jar' journal.  I cut out 30 circles that when finished fit inside a wide mouth mason jar. 

Short update this week.  Perhaps I will be chattier next Sunday.  I will leave you with a picture of my Passerine hat on my head!  I have been wearing it quite a bit this cold rainy days.

 Oh yes, one more update.

Otis was busted for inappropriate mischief the other morning:

Tuesday, January 24, 2023

Yop Update #30 - We have our suitcases!


First announcement - My husband finally got his suitcase (missing for two weeks) so hurray for that.  

Second announcement - After 25 hours of travel I safely returned home last Tuesday night and miracle of miracles my suitcase arrived with me!

The rest of the week has been recovering from jetlag.  I think I am almost turned around and starting to feel somewhat rested. 

Because I was so worried about lost luggage my carry-on was almost all knitted things - 27 gnomes, my Spice Market shawl and my Birdsong sweater.  I was wearing my favourite handknit socks and of course my Dragon gansey.  Suffice to say I was never cold on any on the three flights!  

I took a picture of all the things I had knit while away:

9 gnomes, Birdsong, 24 blanket squares,9 1/2 socks
And a partridge in a pear tree!

I arrived home to a number of parcels that had been delivered in my absence.  It was like Christmas!  A wool order from KnitPicks (including a yarn spindle), some long dpns from Etsy, two mini skeins and a yarn gauge I won during the Year of Gnomes, some fleece lined leggings, a new top and a blanket I had ordered (to keep me warm after my swims), and a present from my sister of a large flannel shirt to also wear after swimming and that is big enough I can put it over my head and change under it so I don't flash the whole beach after my swims!

Yarn cake holder - it spins!

There was mountains of mail to go through, and of course unpacking and three loads of laundry.  Chores I was happy to do because it meant I was home!
My dear husband met me at the airport with a Rainbow Roll from my favourite sushi restaurant since Air Canada doesn't feed you on the five hour flight, and I hadn't had sushi for almost four month!  Shocking I know!!

In between sleeping and waking cycles I managed to block both my Birdsong and the 24 gansey blanket squares:

On the knitting front I have been working on finishing another sock - Caffe Mocha - I am down to the toe,

 picking up my son's gansey (I have done the shoulder straps and I am now on the first sleeve), 

and I started the Passerine toque to go with my Birdsong sweater. 

Tomorrow I am going for my CoVid booster and flu shot.  I have a To-Do list literally a mile long of things to do and people to contact now I am home, but I can't seem to do more that one thing on it per day. 
(Okay it isn't a mile long - but there are 29 line items and it takes a whole page of my bullet journal.) 

I haven't got back to the ocean yet, but I did get out for a nice forest walk a couple of days ago.  It has been cold and rainy here but I found a window without rain to go check out my local duck pond and re-acquaint myself with the beautiful trees in the woodland trail.  (Note to self - wear a toque and gloves next time - it is not like you don't have a LOT of them).

Speaking of a lot of knitted things - I think I have to stop knitting socks!  Either that or join some Sock Knitters Anonymous group.  (I mean a real SKA 12 step group because the SKA group on Ravelry just encourages you to knit more socks!) I have a drawer full of hand knit socks and it is overflowing with at least fifty pairs.  Many of them I have never worn as I tend to have a few favourites and I just keep recycling through them.  I am thinking maybe I should get a table at a spring craft market and sell some of them but it is like asking me to sell my children - I am so attached to them all! Stay tuned - calmer heads may prevail. 

So that is all for this week.  I am two days late with this post already, and I am blaming jetlag.  I think my etheric body is somewhere over central Canada at this moment.  I am hoping for it to catch up with me very very soon. 

I've been living under my new sloth blanket as I sloth-out on the couch!

Oooo.  I forgot I have a pair of socks I can show you because they aren't part of my test knits. These were such a fun knit, and great for using up leftover sock yarn.  I do love mosaic knitting!


Dear Readers, I hope you are fairing well through this winter.  And take heart, my daffodils are peeking up out of the soil.  Spring is coming!

Sunday, January 15, 2023

Yop Update #29 - When in doubt cast on another sock


Well, first the big news.  My hubby's suitcase finally showed up (only two weeks late).  So that is a huge relief.  Other travel news is I have an appointment tomorrow morning at 8am to sort out my visa issues.  Cutting it close to the wire as I leave 24 hours later.  Hopefully the appointment goes off without a hitch (or two, or three). 

I am mostly packed and I have made a list of everything I am trusting to the airlines.  I had my last swim yesterday so that all my swimming stuff is dry for packing.  It was a glorious swim. Water temp was 12C.  Air the same.  The sun was shining and there was a wind blowing so there were some waves to swim over. 

I finished a test knit, and started another.  The testknit I am working on is very fiddly with lots of right twist and left twist cables and I have already broken two needles trying to cable without cable needles.  Argggg.  So to compensate for my frustration I cast on a lovely sock designed by my friend Lia.  It is called Caffe Mocha and I am enjoying it immensely. 

just what I needed

Other than knitting socks and swimming I have gone for a couple of long walks.  There is a labyrinth built into a field about a mile from where I am and yesterday I walked it.  Very meditative

path lined with lavendar plants

I have taken quite a few pictures in these last few days to remember the nature I was immersed in for the past three months

my private swimming area

the seagulls often on this boat watching me swim 

And even got a shot of one of the many feral cats that come to our deck hoping for a treat.

I was making chicken soup and no she didn't get any...

I won a pattern from Imagined Landscapes for the Year of Gnomes event.  It is a toque pattern called Go Big or Go Gnome.  I couldn't resist. One can never have enough gnome patterns. Am I right?

So I fly on Tuesday.  Honestly I am not looking forward to the 21 hour journey home especially with worries about missing suitcases.  

Next week I will fill you in on my adventure.  

But now it is time to have a birthday dinner with my daughter.  Thirty-Four today....where does the time go?

Monday, January 9, 2023

Yopping Update #28 - More things I can't show you


This past week I mostly spent researching different gansey motifs for the next twelve squares.  I settled on  Hearts, Diamond, Tree of Life and Scottish Flags:

I finished another testknit sock which was quite enjoyable.  I am just making one of each sock, but creating fraternal pairs by using the same yarn for two different socks.  I will be quite the fashion forward I think. 

My husband's suitcase is still lost somewhere between Croatia and Vancouver.  It has been twelve days so there isn't much hope that it will surface.  Upsetting to say the least and now he has to go through the hassle of a) making a claim, and b) replacing the missing contents.  So annoying, and of course now I am fretting about when I fly in a week because most of my luggage are things I have knit while I have been overseas.  Luckily my husband and I swapped carry-on bags before he left and I plan to stuff mine with knitted things plus wear both sweaters and the shawl and maybe two pairs of socks.  I will look like the Pillsbury Doughgirl, or the Michelon (wo)man - suffice to say I will be warm.  The gnomes (all 27 of them) are already packed in the carry-on.  I have my priorities straight!

I did manage three more cold water swims this past week, but not today because it is very stormy at sea and there are warnings about thunderstorms so I am staying in safe and dry for the time being. (Well, I do have to go out to get some milk and tea, but I am hoping the rain will stop shortly so I can dash out and back without becoming the proverbial drowned rat.) 

After I finish this post I am going to cast on another sock - actually a match to one I made last week - I can't just have fraternals in my carry-on. 

I fly home in eight days.  The time has gone by too fast and I am still trying to get my overstayed visa issue worked out.  The woman I originally talked to doesn't seem to be working this past week so tomorrow I have another name and number to call.  Fingers crossed I won't be thrown out of the country and become persona non grata. 

I have entered all my blanket squares into the Harry Potter House Cup Challenge and the toque and mitts I want to make as part of a KAL with a dear friend are not to be started until January 21st at which time I will be home (and hopefully so will my suitcase).  

I hope the new year is treating you gently.  We have all been fighting (and mostly winning) against the cold that arrived at the end of 2022.  Not the funnest way to start a new year I can tell you.  

(I know funnest isn't a word - but this cold doesn't deserve proper vocabulary!)

Sunday, January 1, 2023

Yopping Update #27 - A sock I can actually show you


I finished a testknit sock this past week, but it is top secret so no picture.  But...I did finally get around to knitting my second Wetlands Gansey sock and I finished them on New Year's Eve and they have been on my feet ever since. 

It is almost time to put away the Advent gnomes and Saint Gnicholas until next year, but I couldn't resist one more picture. 

My dh flew home on Friday.  He and I both have a cold and I know for him flying while feeling rotten is just, well, rotten.  He is home now, safe and sound (although he is still waiting for his suitcase).  

Otis is glad to have someone home with him once more:

I have started another testknit sock and the next term of the Harry Potter Knitting/Crochet House Cup has begun so I am plotting more gansey blanket squares and I think a toque to match my Birdsong. 

After seeing my husband off at the airport early, early Friday morning I got to witness this amazing sunrise on the way home. 

I did get into the sea for my polar bear dip today, New Year's Day.  The sea temp was about 9.5C and I managed two minutes before coming to my senses and heading home for a warm bath!  It was Ccccold.

It will be a few months before we are all together again, so I am glad my husband had us all pose for a selfie the night before he left. 

Happy New Year to all my dear readers.  May 2023 bring us some peace and kindness, health and most of all Love.