Wednesday, January 31, 2007

To Comfort Me

I finished the green goodnes of Malabrigo merino. It is a very soft "single ply" (I believe). I already started it in Li's (Life's a Stitch)reversible herringbone scarf, but it just came out like 1970's shag rug.

In San Antonio I spent too much money on a cab to get to a bookstore. The wool shop was just out of the question. S.A. is like Calgary where you have to take a super highway to get anywhere. Not good for a walker.
I ended up at a Borders where I spent several lovely hours and treated myself to Wendy Knits which I haven't been able to find. She is so charming and I knew this Fir Cone scarf would be perfect. More than perfect, I still have one skein left. You can see the scarf resting in the morning winter sunlight.

This morning when I took my daughter to her 7:15 Jazz Band practice, the sun was already coming out! Forget the groundhog- I'm encouraged by mother nature that spring is coming. Today I will try to take pictures of snow drops and blossoms.

In the continuing story of stash diet, I'm pleased with the Lamb's Pride for Knitty's Cecilia. It's time for some colour work and I can go randomly at this beautiful little girl's cardigan. It is such a blessing that my classmate finally has a baby of her own and I want to surprise her with a gift. I haven't seen her for almost 20 years, but she was a strong person who shared her family when I was so stressed out and not at my best in Nursing School. I'm the same person, but I respond so differently to everything. Can I apologize enough?
I'm so lucky to have such great friends now. I have to make sure they know they are appreciated.

Monday, January 29, 2007

Happy Hats

"Can you show me the thing with the sticks?"
One of our skating coaches' 5 year old daughter asked me that when I was knitting these hats at the rink. It's a bit like knitting a kitten. Not a sweet pretty kitten.
I chose the most objectionable colours I could find because I think the chemotherapy kids in Boston would like a bit of attitude.
It scared me when a few friends remarked that they thought I was knitting something very pretty. Hmm. They never say that about my silk laceweight or my Fleece Artist socks.
I was a pediatric nurse, trained in oncology before I quit to stay home with my two kids. I actually worked for three years after they arrived and it was too hard. I wasn't getting enough hours to keep my registration so I just said don't phone me. Do I miss it?
I miss caring for people and I know now that I'm good at it because everyone is dreadful when I am sick. I had surgery two years ago and I was so proud of the high standard of nursing here in Chilliwack. But the administration and the government have been driving full speed into disaster with total mismanagement of the health care system. For me it was when they took away my head nurse. No thanks. That's like trapese without a net.
They have doctors in the building round the clock now and medical and nursing students. It was just glorified rural nursing 10 years ago.
I'm working hard to find a place to channel my not insignificant knowledge, my teaching skills and my love of working in a team. Perhaps X-ray technician? I'd love to work with Cancer patients again.
So these hats are to the brave and strong young souls who didn't choose to be in the hospital and fighting for their lives. Hope it brings a smile.

Saturday, January 27, 2007

Your Luggage is in Barbados

We had a good time in friendly San Antonio. I think Texas lives up to every one of its cliches. Friendly, loud and fun. We were right on the river and enjoyed walking along its banks, eventhough the weather was cold and wet. Just like home.
Our luggage did not arrive home with us. I helped the airline track it until they stepped up their hunt just to get rid of me. It's disturbing that I had more information on my computer than my contact.
It did come home just after the sewing of numerous skating outfits and a birthday party for my son's 16th with 22 family members.

I brought my thistle leaf shawl. I dyed the yarn blue a few summers ago. That was a real kick. I had bought an extra skein of teal laceweight in a fear of running out before I finished my Fibertrends Pacific Rainforest shawl. I didn't run out. The only wool they had was an ugly mushroom colour. But I thought it was better than two teal shawls. They dying was success because the inconsistencies lend to the denim nuance.

You can see I have anally prepared by copying Barbara Walker's pattern in large and cutting out each line for a card. I did this for a lace scarf and it worked so well. It's worth the effort if you remember that I pick up and put down this shawl several times over the years. My hope is to have it ready for the summer trip to Scotland. Note: hope not goal. Who knows what knitting will cross my path before that?

I have quite a long list of must do knitting: a worsted weight angel baby blanket for one of my Sunday School students who is now expecting. Her mother asked me to knit it and unfortunately I couldn't encourage her to just get the pattern and not the acrylic kit. I remember believing in the power of kits. But it will be sweet and washable. I also have a stash sweater for a nursing classmate who is finally blessed with a baby girl. We graduated 20 years ago! Must send a sweater to Utah!

D. bought me some lovely emeralds in Texas. A suite from my sweet. So I must make the green scarf to compliment them. I know. What is the appropriate knitting for new jewellery?

I have some good shots of the Alamo. The weather was cold and overcast which means the lighting was good. Unfortunately blogger won't accept them. Maybe tomorrow

Thursday, January 18, 2007

Insert Expletive

More snow. More shovelling and, oh joy, Skating Carnival.

This means I have not been walking, hardly knitting, and bruised on my butt.
Yesterday was a singularly horrible day. Did you know that if you don't use your sewing machine for over a year, that the symbols can lose their meaning? I totally forgot what to do for stretch sewing. Thank goodness the store I got it from (10 years ago?) is just around the corner and open at 0930h. The fabric the other Angie gave me for my Noodle-pie's costume is stretchy satin. Horrors. Worse yet- only one was stretchy. So I had to sew toward and away with the pink side up and blah blah. Grumpy. But not to be conquered.
When daughter got home from school (driven because of weather) and after skating lessons, I tried it on her and laughed. Thank goodness for my knitting experience. I pinned it and just cut away to make a shape. Imagine going off pattern! Actually I wasn't given a pattern. Now we have a gold and orange go-go dress.
On my way to post the sweater to nephew #1, I tripped and dropped a stack of library books in a slippery puddle. I just about cried and threw up and kicked the new car. But instead I laid them on the dining table (with the sewing) to smother them in towels. I think only one is truly ruined. Poor books.
Going to lunch was a high point. Though my dear friend has just lost one of her dear friends. So sad. We think we're too young.
I gave the zamboni guy his DNA illusion scarf and he was tickled. So I was tickled.
Unfortunately, my skater is in yet another number- line dance. "We" have to come up with a costume pronto. I talked to the two other moms who were available and we're going with jeans and a bandana. I'm going to make gingham peasant blouses (toward Daisy Duke) for each. They are simple to sew and more importantly, simple to fit. We have girl's size 8 to my daughter, ladies 14. Still, I think it could be cute.
I received the Mary Maxim pattern and yarn for the "Gift of Angels" blanket. This is knit for a friend to give her expectant daughter. They have been involved in Sunday school and camp for many years and know my kids well. The grandma-to-be refused knitting lessons. I refuse to be paid. I'm trying to think of a suitable barter. Too bad she doesn't cook. I have another friend who will sew for cabbage rolls.
The fun fur chemo caps are definitely cheering. I made one yesterday and one the day before.
The packing may do me in today. We fly our at 11 am tomorrow, but need to leave the house at 8 am.
If I don't post for a few days, please imagine that I am relaxed and happy exploring San Antonio.

Tuesday, January 16, 2007

Completed, Except

Last night I finished the top down raglan. I think my son looks pretty hunky in it. When he was a baby, we called him "Hunky Boo" because he was such a big Ukrainian baby (D. is half Ukrainian).His eldest cousin is a very similar size.
I think I will make it just a little longer in the body. Because I can. That's one of the treats of the top down. I think I changed my mind on this pattern after Hanne remarked on the decreases. I figured it out. It was a quick knit and I think Boo would wear it. How about dark blue or charcoal? He doesn't like the masterpiece aran sweater I knit him of special anti-tickle.
I had intended to knit my daughter, my Noodle-pie, a perfect aran before embarking on the nephew project. But the cotton cable hoodie, Mariah, was knit too loosely and eventhough I knit a size down, the cotton stretched and came out a size too big. Sigh. It is destined for my niece who is second in line. This means I am set to start sweater 3. I was going to knit Noodle a red Rogue hoodie, but she has started her own from Sally Melville. I win.
So today I will extend the bottom of the cable raglan. Then I will knit one or two fun fur caps to send to January One's friend. They will be collected for the chemo kids in Boston. I love to knit for medical babies. This hat will cheer me up after I shovelled the drive yet again. I torture myself that the neighbour who so rudely barricaded our shared driveway will oportunistically use mine as she doesn't clear her snow- nor do her lazy children or her little boyfriend. Wasted energy to fuss about others. I hate having a sociopathic neighbour. I want her to move. I want her to stop speaking to me in abusive language. It's up to me to tell her that I need more respect, but she's a sociopath, so it won't help. As long as my family is safe, I'll just walk away. Too sad after living here for almost 10 years. We pay off the mortgage next year. We've put up with drug dealers and car thieves, but it's never been so bad. We really love our privacy and she's in our face. Breathe. Knit. Make music. Nurture yourself.

Saturday, January 13, 2007

Despite the Chill

We had an eventful weather week. I guess just about everyone could say that these days, especially in Canada where we always talk about the weather.

The trunk is finished on the top down raglan. It really looks like the trunk of a tree in the brown shades. I'll start the sleeves today. It will be simple, but it will cost some thought and intention.

I have had the good news that a nursing classmate has had a baby girl. They have been married for at least 14 years because they visited me when I was expecting my daughter. I checked the stash- I'm trying to stick to the stash diet. There was some beautiful Brown Sheep in pink, purple and green from another sweater. I'm planning to make the Cecelia from Knitty. It has the cutest petal collar. I'll adapt it to the yarn I have. I can get away with the smallest size, I think.

I plan to take the blue thistle shawl to San Antonio next week. I wanted it for our trip to Montreal but I broke the addi turbo wooden needle in packing. Tears. Now it's replaced, and I really should admit that I have this project on the needles. Can I finish the nephew sweater by then?

We've been enjoying BBC videos from the library. Great knitting content.

Wednesday, January 10, 2007

What's Under the Blanket?

Yesterday we got the new car. It's a civic sedan and I love it. It satisfies the practical need and still has room for zip and little bit of style. You can't see the beautiful dark blue because of the crappy weather. I scraped our drive way and three of our neighbors because I was worried about freezing rain. I'm big on safety and we have some old people and some who work all day.

Don't look at the decrepit RV in the background. We have the WORST neighbors. I know we should love our neighbors, but it's easier when they live in Somalia, or at least Surrey. We have had less trouble with the old renters who were variously drug dealers, car thieves and deadbeat dads. The widow sold the house to a classmate of mine from school and we have lost all our privacy. We refuse to tangle with her. No tolerance of bullies means moms too.

Enough energy trying to be passive on that one.

I had to rip out the trunk of the top down because I hate the instructions. I was in my LYS and Hanne said, oh, it looks like you just....

Of course. She solved it so well I had to frog a portion. She also let me trade my leftover balls of Crystal Palace kidsilk in turquoise for some lovely bright green. I'll make D's aunt a Kiri for her 70th. I have until September when she takes her villa in Umbria.

And I can stay on my stash diet.

The power was out lastnight for 6 hours. My son BBQ'd in 100 km winds. We had a great supper by candlelight and then everyone read by their book lights with ipods. Blessed quiet. When the wind died down, the quiet woke me.

I have lapsed from my runagogo. But I did

shovel the whole stinking drive. I'm not counting the mileage. Confident I can still make it.

Friday, January 05, 2007

Walking in the Rain

I'm really hooked on this Run-a-go-go. Thanks Rachel and Scout. I went out in the slushy snow this morning with the dog, Carly and it went well, thanks to Melissa Etheridge.
Yesterday I ran away to Vancouver with one of my best friends. We shopped and saw the Painted Veil at the charming 5th Avenue Theatre. What grown up fun. We brought our knitting, but didn't make it up to W. 10th to Urban Yarns. Just as good as I'm on a stash diet. I'll take her later.

Tonight we potluck with all the friends from our book club and their families. I am disappointed that my family is not more enthusiastic. But I've been disappointed before and survived. They'll have a great time once we're there. The good news is they missed me yesterday.

I hope to knit while I prepare my potluck goodies. The trunk of the topdown raglan is growning. I was so discouraged on Wednesday. My scale said I had gained 5 lbs. The heaviest I have been since my surgery July 04. But today it went back down. Still, reason enough to accept that my own behavior might be involved in my weight and my health. I'm trying to be back on the core diet. It is the best choice for my wellness. Wish me luck.

Tuesday, January 02, 2007

Top Down and Off the Chart.

I've started the top down raglan sweater for my oldest nephew. It was coming along lickety split despite the strange language in the pattern. It's from Knitter's Fall 2001. I know now how blessed we are with the internet knitting sites. The abbreviations are rediculous. All in the name of fitting in another picture or fitting in more ads.

I just about frogged it last night. It was off the needles. And eventhough this Scheepjes Figodon is a bit splitty, it held its stitches. I gave in, put them back on the needles and counted. Only two out. I don't care if I missed something in the "AT THE SAME TIME" tunnel. I had to go off road, but I made it out to daylight on the other side and I'm dividing for the sleeves in the picture above.

I'm not a big fan of Knitter's, but there was a time when it was the only magazine I could get.

Thank-you Knitty and Magknits and all the wonderful designers. Opening up the communication to the designers is one of my chief kicks. Jodi Green is wonderful, Grumperina is the best and Kate Gilbert is amazing.

In other news, the birthday party/new year's eve sleep over was a bad idea. I thought my daughter could overcome her disappointment at having an early new year birthday. But it was like being under seige.

No cake. They made a cake. Won't that be fun? I hid in the bedroom. Then, you guessed it, they went outside to play in the dark after leaving the cake to cool outside. On a table you ask? On the BBQ? Not even on the hot tub. On my lawn chaise. Carly ate the cake. She didn't feel well. We had flaming sundaes.
I think we'll not repeat this experiment.