Thursday, April 30, 2009

When All is Said and Done

Buttons to Baby Surprise. I still have a stash of little hearts and I like how they look on these little charity sweaters.
This morning I finished up the last ribbing on the Baby Bolero from Leigh Radford's One Skein. This is a great pattern. It didn't even use one skein of Cotton Ease. Unfortunately in my zeal, I wrapped it up and packed it in my bag to take to work.
As soon as the baby is out of NNICU, the nurses are going to have a baby shower. I don't really know this nurse very well, and I don't know if I'll be contacted, so I thought I'd give it to some one who is looking after things.
This is what it looks like now. And though I'm pleased with the presentation, it doesn't help my knitting friends.

Like picking a scab, the airing of the stash didn't stop the flow. On Tuesday I took my alpaca yarn to the office where they have a postal scale. Well, D said it was very inaccurate and took me into the lab where they have a bonafide drug dealer scale.
We weighed one meter of fibre, then weighed each cake. Not only are they not the 200g skeins I bought, they were more like 177.
Still I have way more than I needed to make Hey Teach, and enough to make a long sleeved cardigan like this (Rav link). I've been stalking this sweater. But I'm having weird sensations about jumping into a sweater that is defined by its errata.
So I just had to go out and buy this brown Mondo yarn for Hey Teach so I can make it right away and wear it now. You understand.

Plus this yumminess (On Line Linnie 146 Montana) is half the price of the other chunky yarn I was looking at to make a giftie scarf. Holding Hands and Feeding Ducks. I'm in love with it. But this, too, needs to be on my needles. I'm under such pressure.
The Bristow is on its last piece (still ripping as I go) and soon to be blocked and awaiting piecing. This one really needs blocking. I hope it comes close to fitting.

With the rest of my morning I put a rubbing in my kitchen. I was going to paint this verse on, but why bother when you can find it ready and in a can?
When all is said and done, I'm pretty pleased with it.

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Stash Reveal

Everything off the shelves. What do I have anyway? To be fair, those boxes in the back are another organizing game of my school momentos.

Here it all is.
Top row:
-finished Fleece Artist Ripple shawl.
-Wool in worsted weight odds & sodds
-Chunky bits and bobs
-Noro (gathering for Lizard Ridge)
-Baby yarn- acrylic on top of wool
Next shelf:
-Complete grey wool for nephew # 6 (blue top)
-still aran left overs from the stash afghan
-Nashua blue chunky for a vest
-dk blue acrylic- enough for a blanket
-220 blue- enough for a vest
-Blue Ultra Alpaca (I know, the blue thing)
Next row:
-Sewing bits
-Sock yarn (missing a lid)
-fancy- Habu, ribbon and leftover bits
-UFO- Philosopher's Windows
- handspun
Next Row:
-More sewing
-laceweight (green lid)
-kw crap
-blue fuzzy acrylic- enough for a kids sweater or blanket
-Cotton left overs
Bottom Row:
-220 whole skeins, left over
-nephew #5 sweater (on the needles, but neglected)
-chunky muss
-scrumble (from March 08)

Whew! And in the spirit of full disclosure, these skeins are on my window sill and slated for gift itiems. I ended up with two extra lids and one box with no lid. Hmmm? You can tell that a lot of my stash is disreputable remnants I can not yet throw out. Sometimes this is a problem with a solution (charity knitting), and sometimes it's just a guilty headache.

What's new is I bought full sweaters worth of blue in the Boxing Day sale for myself.

I am on the last piece of the Bristow (right front) and ready to measure out some brown alpaca from a local farm. I hope, I hope it can be Hey Teach. I'm weighing the yarn today to figure out the yardage. Plus I need to get gauge. This would fit similarly to the February Lady, but with shorter sleeves would be good for warmer weather. I did make my FL too big.

The saddest thing in that pantry, not the UFO or the finished shawl with no one to whom to give it, is the needlepoint I started in 1995. Yes a William Morris orange tree. We used to have the persian yarns at the wool shop that closed several years ago. I'll try to work on the little cushion needlepoint I started, and then see if I am a reformed crafter.

My sewing stuff needs better storage, too. I usually can't get to this corner because of the recycling.

This all fits into the things I will do when I am no longer studying and get my life back. Check that off the list. Now to knit it all.

Monday, April 27, 2009


Can you see how flat that tire is? The weather is finally warm enough to consider cycling, but still windy. This bike was very cheap and doesn't fit me at all. Does it know it's slated for replacement? I've already pumped up the tire a month ago.

So I walked it the 4 blocks to the corner gas station. Their pump is out of order. I walked it back home and hooked up the Canadian Tire compressor we use for soccer balls. It wouldn't work. I muttered under my breath and I admit to throwing my water bottle. I wonder how soon I can find a new bike like Claudia's from Claudia's Blog?
It was at this time my "World's Worst Neighbor"'s two dogs came into my part of the shared driveway and were barking crazy. She thought she could discuss sharing the cost of a fence because she moved the 1970's RV that has been blocking the driveway for more than a year. All I could manage was, "I have no response for you."

The thimbleberries started blooming last week. This is an indicator plant that the hummingbirds use to migrate north, following the new blossoms. The back of our property, on the other side of the river, has thimbleberries in abundance. Others would call them weeds. But I like to think of them as hummingbird buffet.

My Beloved Lombardy Poplars are finally coming into leaf. I didn't realize how much I missed them. They remind me of girls at a dance, waiting on the edges with their skirts rustling.

I have not been stalled in my knitting. On Saturday morning I had to get up early to get Emily to school for a trip to drumline in Whistler. Mine is the one on the far left with the funky glasses.
Then I had quiet and time to absorb the pattern and flow of this Bristow cardigan front. I've decided not to knit it in the basement. The light is just too difficult for the dark wool. I hope to leave it in a heap in my sunroom, so I am forced to work on it.
For basement knitting, I will start the secret Casbah knitting. Yay. I have such a long queue.

The rest of my Saturday was spent catching up with a dear friend whom I rarely see since we both stopped drumming in the pipeband. She lives in Bellingham, which seemed like a long hours drive (especially after the back-and-forthing I did in the week), but not so far when I remember she and her husband drove up to Chilliwack every Wednesday for band practice.
We enjoyed two of the yarn shops: Apple Yarns in Barkley and Northwest Handspun yarns in downtown Bellingham. Mostly I wanted to visit and have a nice lunch. There was much catching up and a bit of stash enhancement. The Cascade 220 I wanted for the Bountiful Bohus from More Big Girl Knits. (Ravelry link)

Plus superwash from Farmhouse Yarns in Cornflower and Cascade 220 in grey for more gifties.
I still have to work hard at completing things for myself. Now I have 3 sweaters worth and 2 vests to knit myself. I'd better keep them in the queue.

Friday, April 24, 2009


The Noro two row scarf is done. This time I did the mistake rib and I love the gentle gradation of colours.

This is for Scott's friend. He doesn't wear scarves, or I'd let him have it.

The Elizabeth Zimmerman Baby Surprise was cast off last night and this is what I got. Looks like Patrick
or some unformed blob. I have made this sweater many times (six or seven?) and I am always surprised byt the origami outcome.

Last night I couldn't even fold both sides to make it look like a sweater. Because the sleeve seams are on the top and the mitres keep from any straight edges, it's fun to go back and see the path of the cast on and cast off . I got the pattern from a Knitter's magazine years ago.

Ta da. A sweater.

I was in Abbotsford yesterday and bought some soft cotton to make little sweaters for the pregnant nurses I work with. I haven't decided if I'll make them in addition to my monthly. Probably. The blue is for a Baby Bolero from Leigh Radford's Oneskein. I have found the hip young moms like it, and this baby was quite premie, so a little sweater will last a long time. The other one is for a second baby, and I might wait until it is born in a few weeks to maybe make something girlie. She already has a boy.

The other surprise is that I have to run back into Abbotsford to pick up some drum sticks. Emily broke hers again and they've run out at school. I was lucky to source them. The drum corps is going to Whistler tomorrow for a special performance at the World Ski and Snowboard Festival. They are the finale and if they show well, they may be invited to play during next year's Winter Olympics.
Off to drive on the Number One Highway in the sunshine.

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

There Was Knitting

I just finished my first set of shifts in the hospital. This last night was a huge shift with serious nursing and saving lives and not much rest in between. But I did pick up my Baby Surprise sweater (yellow) and that's how I met another nurse knitter. She was working on a gorgeous green silk and wool sweater with her first (very nifty) cables. I invited her to Ravelry and I know her daughters will rue the day I stole their mommy. It was so great to learn that she was taught to knit by a very special Scottish lady I knew. Her family was a big part of the pipe band. and her grand daughter was our first baby sitter. I remember her funeral where her grandson piped Highland Cathedral and all her friends wore the sweaters she knit them.
While I was working, there was an unfortunate accident in our home. The red ring of death denotes the demise of the XBox. From overuse I am certain. The big boys were hushed and appropriately sombre for the passing. But apparently there is a chance of resurection. I am fascinated by the motherboard.

The May project for the Harry Potter Knit A Long 0n Ravelry is Fawkes Socks. I have some nice Cascade Heritage in red, but I don't think I'd wear another pair of red socks. Instead I could do them in some of my sock stash. I hope I can fit it in. The knitting has been a bit thin on the ground while I slept/worked.
Plus. I'm going to Bellingham on Saturday to visit with a fellow drummer/knitter and she wants to do a bit of yarn crawl. Yay!!
Hopefully I can clean my house (in anticipation of ultimately getting a weekly house cleaner), catch up on my knitting and gardening and podcasts and just generally move into the life that was mine before nursing. I have 10 days off!! This is a great part-time position. It will take some getting used to, but even on a really busy night, there was knitting.

Thursday, April 16, 2009

Springing Starts.

The sun is out. I wasn't aware how much I missed my flowers. Everywhere I look now, the plums and the cherries are blooming and there are riots of random colour on people's front door steps.

I was able to get outside and start tackling some of the garden jobs. I took 3 wheelbarrows of ivy away from the deck. This isn't a real before and after because the first picture is what I still have to do.
But we have a much larger deck with no encroaching ivy. D is going to paint it again this year, but it's almost time to replace the 1000square feet of wood.
The Noro scarf is almost finished and the next baby sweater (EZ Baby Surprise) is already started.
I did my orientation shift at the hospital and it went swimmingly well. I was so afraid of drowning, but in addition to the difficulties of meds and treatments on time, I was able to spend time listening to and teaching my patients. I hope there are more days like that. There are lots of nurses helping each other.
In contrast, I had a computer class today for the patient records and ordering services. I know that a lot of work has gone into making Blogger and Ravelry and Flicker easy to understand and use. Well, none of that was considered in the two programs that don't integrate with one another. It is just rediculous and something that you lose right away if you don't use the system because there is no logic. I hope to work with the program enough to get myself out of hot water. But it's like they bought a sedan and are trying to turn it into a pickup. Just go buy a pickup. Give the sedan to a needy family.
The maternity nurses appreciate the little sweaters (I dropped one off yesterday) and they showed me the shelves of other allocated gifts of burial gowns and layettes and whole hampers for families in need. They tried to recruit me for the nursery, and it's tempting.
But first I'm going to get to know my unit. Tomorrow I start 2 days and 2 nights. Whew!

Sunday, April 12, 2009

Happy Easter

My mom gave me flowers for Easter. That was so nice. And I got chocolate, too.The red Hermione hat is finished. It really is long like everyone was reporting. Instead of 16 rows ribbing, I would just do 8 and the set up can be cut from 5 to just 2. That means 10 instead of 20 rows before you begin the lace and cable. Still it is soft and a pretty colour and will make a nice gift.

Another nice gift, that causes me to knit at the expense of Easter music practice, service preparation and feast making is the Noro two row scarf.
It really is magical how the colours communicate with one another. I have decided to make this one a mistake rib a la Mason Dixon.
It gives me great pleasure, except when I'm knitting and watching TV, because the room is too dark to see the subtle colours. So I've been watching DVDs upstairs on my PC. Silly.
It's dark and cold outside, too (and cold inside with a broken heater), but we're off to my sister's for a rather big gathering. We'll try to outshine the weather.

Wednesday, April 08, 2009


The Hermione Hat has inspired me to knit some fingerless gloves to match. If I do them in the red Cascade Heritage yarn that I already have, then I no longer have the onerous duty of finding a shawl that I don't want to knit or wear. Why did I buy this yarn? I was going to knit the Mystic Light shawl for a Christmas outfit. But studying and practicum came in the way. My oldest sister would love this.
That made me hunt for patterns for the other two sisters to knit, preferably with some of the faboulous wool I already have. One thing led to another, and I don't know if I'll get it all done in time for birthdays or Christmas. But I enjoy knitting for others.
So much so, that knitting for myself is hard to fit in. Look! The sign of the frog! Yes the thistle shawl went d*o*w*n yesterday. I feel so light. I have acted out my revenge on the blasted thing. Look out Icarus for me!!!

Yes, I got my "R" for my RN. I start work with an orientation shift on Wednesday and my own rotation on the weekend. This is what I wanted and I worked so hard for it...and now I'm petrified.
This morning I went out in the garden and 3 wheel barrows later I came in. Such a late start and so much neglect from last year. I'll be cleaning it up for days. But the rains come tomorrow, so I'll have to postpone.
That's OK because I got this in the mail.

Noro Silk Garden for a Mistake Rib Two Row Scarf for a special Grad present. It's245 and 267. I did a lot of looking in Ravelry and sourcing. This was the closest I could come to my nephew's scarf.
I ordered it on Saturday from Valley Yarn and Julie was super. I got confirmation almost immediately. She lives about an hour away, but shipping is still cheaper than gas and she doesn't have a store front. Her selection is great and I got to meet her at the Fibre Festival, so I was pretty confident. Thanks Julie for the extra gift and the super fast service. I only wish you had been slower because I might have added more. Better this way.
The projects are really building up and taking me away.

Monday, April 06, 2009

Show Yourself

The sun is out and it's 18 degrees Celsius (double it and add 30 for Farenheit). We had a wonderful walk yesterday in shirt sleeves. But it was still frosty in the morning. The magnolia is being coaxed to bloom.
I don't even remember planting these daffodils. The ones I love have been eaten or died. This is my mom's favourite flower, so it's always worth having a few around. I especially love them planted with grape hyacinths.

I'm plotting a tutorial! Not that I'm an expert, but I have some experience in this stitch and I'm looking forward to breaking it down to simple steps. It is to go with my pattern I'm still not writing down. These things take their own time. I have to be in the mood to make lots of little mistakes to come out with something entirely new. I have really benefitted from some of the online tutorials and I want to share.
The Hermione hat is coming along.
The aubergine sweater. You won't believe it. I had to rip the back out again (after two balls) because I didn't have enough stitches. First it was poor knitting, then it was gauge, now it was inadequate cast on. I don't know why I can't get a grip on this poor thing. The wool is almost felting. I shall draw upon my perpicacity, and continue to trick myself with treats. If I knit the whole back I can start (or work on) something else. I could put it in the UFO pile, but I'm worried I would never pick it up again. This is why I never knit for myself. It's time to show myself that I can!

Friday, April 03, 2009

Stretching Boundaries

I spent a lot of energy and deep thinking and finger manipulation to make this bag, but I love it. To take the picture, I fit my whole Swift in it. My stethescope will be very happy going to work in this big bag. McCall's M5487. The instructions weren't very good. I would do it differently another time, but I don't intend to make this bag again. I'm going to give the pattern to my nursing friend, Eleanor, because she probably knows a lot more about making bags than I do.

The inside is lined with more fish and a cunning pocket for my pens, notebook and wintergreen lifesavers.

This is the leftover mess after I extricated two boxes of unravelled yarn from my daughter's "stash". This is mostly my stash. Some was given to her, but none of it was meant to be made into garbag. I extricated some Cascade 220 to make Hermione's hat in the Ravelry Knit A Long in the Harry Potter knits group. I went on a road trip today. Twenty minutes west down the Trans Canada Highway to Abbotsford with two friends. We met three more there and I totally lost track of time. I was really late getting home and still wired on caffeine and wool fumes.

I found Charmed Knits which is what I wanted to buy and ShannonOakey's Alt Fiber that Miss Violet was going on about. This is the second weekend in a month that I was around real knitters and crafters. This totally blows my whole Emo, I'm so alone in the knitting world persona. I'll have to suck it up and learn to walk and talk as I oogle the pretty stuff.

The grey wool is for a man's scarf that I've been thinking of giving to my flute teacher's husband. He came in covered in cold rain (it's been that kind of spring) and I made him wear my Noro Cozy
He liked it so much I had to wrestle it off him. I think a distinguished grey scarf will go much better with his school boy grey slacks and navy blazer. He is such a sweetie.
We "accidentally" went to the Abbotsford wool shop on the way home. We were there till almost an hour after closing.
I also bought some fabric remnants, a bag pattern and a coin purse kit. I was prepared to be a grump about not enough wool related things, but I was intrigued by the great fabrics in the sunny light of my recent sewing success. If I pace myself, I might even learn to get along with my sewing machine.

Wednesday, April 01, 2009

Finish And Start

I have just received news that I am validated and can start working as a Registered Nurse as soon as the hospital is ready. I'm so excited.
The shiny pen I bought yesterday to assuage my wounds has turned into a celebration present (just $9 at Superstore, ya know). The weather is medieval and I decided it's a good day to stay in.

The poor magnolia is afraid to come out. It's snowing in Vancouver, to the west of us, and in Hope, to the east of us. I have a few pages left in Jane Austen's Persuasion, but right now I am captivated by sewing.
I'm making a big bag to take to work. We carry our lunches, books, knitting, etc. I still have my shoes in the staff room on NU. I thought of it as good luck charm. and goldfish are also for good luck. I'll do as much cutting and piecing today that I can because it makes a big mess in my dining room. But I need real light and there's not even much of that today.
Last night we went to Emily's musical (after having D's dad over for dinner). She played french horn in a tight little orchestra that played for the highschool production of Thoroughly Modern Millie. It was superb. I hated to cancel a flute lesson, but it was worth it. I was entranced by the great voices and incredible direction. There was a whole troupe of tap dancers. Now, I was a star in highschool (Lady MacBeth, etc.) and there was no way we could have put on a professional production like this. The orchestra was mainly youth, as well. I feel so blessed to live in a little community with such great young people.
So for now, the sewing is just a treat, not a necessary prooject as part of the waiting program. The assurance that I will get out there is carrying me for now.