Monday, February 28, 2011

Limping Along

I was enjoying a surprisingly eloquent post yesterday, after shoveling snow from the driveway, about the down sides of being capable, when my computer flatlined.
Scott was home but the regular prodding didn't help. It is now at D's office waiting to be taken to computer ICU or the morgue. It was backed up as early as last Monday.
But I am even more awkward on this iPad than the full unit.
I worked on Friday on a new medical unit that I really liked. I have more shifts there coming up.
I enjoyed being included in a knit cup tea with a friend's friend on Saturday.
Sunday was snow and the trading of so. For daughter at the Abbotsford Starbucks. Weird. Reading break was uneventful and over quickly.
I am still knitting on the Cassidy and the Lady Eleanor. Boring. Hope to finish the last piece of the sweater and start putting it together.
Started the Hedgerow socks, but I think there are too many stitches for my foot. Can't go down another needle size from 1.75 mm. Maybe I'll just cast on something else.
Meanwhile I will watch the Knit Girllls and enjoy your blogs.

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPad

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

What's Going On?

I love how in the Completely Cauchy blog she writes, "Lots going on, nothing getting done." I feel that way entirely.
Like the Lady Eleanor shawl (blanket) I'm knitting in the evenings in front of the TV. I just slog along. It's 30 inches wide and I plan to go to 48, but your guess is as good as mine if that's one week or 2 months.
The Starving Artist hat was a success in the mohair. It looks a lot like the Fleece Artist mohair that we were winding up at Jean's, even a similar colourway.

Emily said it was a success, though I'm tempted to make it again in a smaller needle.
I have the left front almost finished on my Cassidy cardigan, but have ripped back a few times because it's pattern and shaping at the same time. The gates to hell have a sign over them that says, "At the Same Time".

I was gifted this lovely hyacinth that doesn't smell enough to stimulate my allergies. Wonderful at my kitchen sink where I don't have a window.
I finished my monkey socks this morning and decided not to cast on another pair right away because I should knuckle down and finish this cardigan.
So I cast on the Chic Knits Maximus cowl from Lion Brand bulky I got at Michaels. I picked Scott up for the reading break and snuck in there.
So now, not only is the carnivore home, but my basement is full of big boys. They very sweetly bought me a bottle of red wine to thank me for making them feel welcome.
So basically I am sweeping floors, doing dishes and trying to get back from two night shifts last week.
Oh, and our church choir competed in the local Music Festival last night and won gold! Even though I choked on the flute, the adjudicator loved us. We love us, too, especially our director.

Thursday, February 17, 2011


I got a Valentines gift a few days late. It's an interchangeable needle organizer from madbird.
I sent an email to D as a gift suggestion and voila. A little zipper pouch for the accessories.

I'm thinking of how to mark the sizes. But I love it.

Our walk today was filled with glorious flowers. There's an ice storm in Vancouver right now.

The snow drops are finally brave enough to show.

I think this may be euphorbia. Not sure, but it's very cheerful. I'm craving some colour!

My February Project Help Mexico hat is finished. I'm still following Bridget Bear from Needles in the Hay's year of colour schedule. Following the rainbow, February is orange. I had to pick up some ivory chunky to stretch the orange in my statsh. I wasn't sure of striping, so I used fibionacci sequence. Love it. I even managed a bit of a jogless jog in the stripe.
This will be for some child of migrant workers in the Baja. I love the top down construction from Lifestyle Top Down Hats. It's more of a recipe than a pattern and I may end up using it for all my monthly hats.
Emily brought me a Booster Juice for lunch. Yay. I'm trying to stay up late and sleep in because
I am inbetween two night shifts, but it really doesn't work too well for me. I feel a bit lazy.
On the bright side, I'm reading more and LOVED How to Knit a Love Song by knitter and blogger Rachael Herron. It was a lot steamier than my usual Dickens and Doyle. I loved the knitting content and the nod to Elizabeth Zimmerman. It took me only two days to read. My own visuals came partly from the blog The Pioneer Woman. I wonder if she knows about the book? Thanks Rachel H. There's a sweater pattern in the back! I always share books I love, and I want others to understand the deep knitting in this book, but I don't know if my mom and friends want to read such a sexy book.
For now I'm going to enjoy the sunny day and hunt for more little blossoms.

Thursday, February 10, 2011

Hanging In There

Yesterday I made pasta with my Christmas present pasta roller. It hooks onto my Kitchen Aid mixer and it couldn't have been easier. I think this batch is enough for a family of four. I could have made it just a bit thinner, going down a knotch. But it was fun.

The back of the Cassidy is done. Apparently I didn't have enough stitches after I adapted the arm hole for my wrong row gauge, but I ripped it back and finished it last night. This is almost a meditative knit now. This morning I cast on the first front. The sleeves are already done. This is the best way for me to work because otherwise the sleeves seem to take forever. I work 2 nights this week, but I don't think this is simple enough for that kind of brain.
I cast on the Starving Artist hat because I'm a crazy fan of Lala and the Knit Girllls. It's simple in its elegant construction. I'm using the "Black Watch" colourway mohair that my sister gave up on. It will probably be a hat for her. Imagine having 2 Christmas presents already! Not quite yet.

We are noticing the light sky earlier in the morning. This is about 7:20. There is hope.
This is a crazy weekend. I'm doing hiring interviews as well as helping and performing in our church Variety show. At least I get to practice the cats duet before we compete in the Music Festival. Hang in there.

Monday, February 07, 2011

Keeping In Touch

The ducks are coming up from the river to check out the birdseed. We don't feed them, but at this time of year they are almost friendly.
I'm planning a St. Patrick's Day party to try to get some of our old band friends together. There is work in keeping in touch.
People are always amazed at my ability to capture and listen to podcasts. It's not remarkable, but I did get in early, thanks to CBC. I think the hardest thing is trying out new ones, especially if it is because your favourites are not posting as frequently or have closed shop.
Step one: ask a friend for a good podcast. This includes recommendations from other podcasters.
Step two: find it in itunes and subscribe. It's free, what's the risk? It can take a few shows for you to decide if you are happy with it.
Step three: and this is the one I have failed to do a few times: Subscribe to the blog show notes. You may not want to read them or may not feel you need to, but they will let you know when they post. You can go over to itunes and update your podcasts. It feels great to get the email, or the note on Google Reader: we have just made a show and we don't want you left out.
My newer podcast is the Knitmore Girls. It took me a while to get used to their voices and the way they share, but it's great fun and now it's familiar.
My favourites are the Knit Girllls which is a video cast and Round the Twist with Carin who used to be on the hilarious Lime and Violet, but I don't think we're supposed to talk about that.
Lala and Leslie from the Knit Girllls are just the type of people I want to sit and knit with.
Cast On with Brenda Dayne is one of the first knitting podcasts and she eloquently shares her opinions and her fabulous knitting and life in Wales.
That's already a few hours of podcasting for your walking and housecleaning and just watching and knitting.
If you're a non-knitter, my favourite podcast is To The Best Of Our Knowledge by PRI Wisconsin. It's part way between Ideas, Tapestry and Spark. That's a lot of links.
Can you tell that we have no TV reception? We watch shows on DVD, but that's downstairs. I don't like to go into the basement if there's good daylight.
The snow drops refuse to open. The weather has been shifting from cold and clear to warm and windy. I don't blame them.

Is this witch hazel? I love it. One of the trees on our short dog walk. I'm feeling well enough to walk the big black thing, partly because she's too arthritic to go for our long walks.

There has been knitting. I finished the hat and had the taste for another quick project. Fish dish for scale because we don't have a cat. These are two legs of the Blu Jeans from Mason Dixon's second book, Knitting Outside the Lines. I went into my stash and weighed the denim (after I had rolled it off the cone). Luckily I had enough. I'm not thrilled with the acrylic contrast, but it's in the stash.

The directions are to wash the pieces after you knit and before you sew. They shrank in washing, but only in length. I know this is a controversial topic, but I decided to throw caution to the wind and follow directions. The cotton denim yarn will continue to fade and soften with subsequent washings.

I'm happy how they turned out. They are probably about a 6 month size, whatever that is. I embroidered a little fly and pockets. Embroidery was my first craft when I was pretty wee and we decorated our pillow cases.
The baby shower is in March, so I'm set. Just some baking to do. We bring frozen meals to showers now, did you know that?

The little jeans are my prayer for a healthy second baby boy. I look forward to seeing the great people my husband works with.
I have a day shift tomorrow and will get to catch up with my own team.
With choirs and meetings, I am out visiting quite a bit this year. My plan is to be more connected.
This Wednesday is the Chilliwack Common Threads Knitting Circle. I hope we get a few more out. We all know knitters are the best people and I want to meet some local ones that I may like as much as I do my blogging friends. Let's keep in touch.

Friday, February 04, 2011

Heroes Revealed

I love it when my heroes get recognition. This is so inspiring, I may try to fit in some more practice.

Jake Shimabukuro

Thursday, February 03, 2011

Stitch by Stitch

It's gloomy and rainy today, but, ironically, when I was feeling like crap, the sun shone bright and sparkly. My magnolia is contemplating the bloom.
The river is high from all the rains. See where D butchered the hazelnut? Don't worry. It will thrive. but for now my roses and rhodos will have more light.

I started a pair of denim baby pants, the Blu Jeans from Mason Dixon's second book. These are for a second son of one of our veterinary families. The shower is in March, but I felt the urge.
I'm trying to knit from stash, but it's really hard. You have to identify how much yarn you have, and then go look for patterns and then pick another yarn because you found something you really want to make, but you have to fudge the yardage. Wow. A lot of work. But the antibiotics are already kicking in and I can breathe to the bottom of my lungs.

I started a New Years Goal and barely made it to the first step. I want to knit one child's hat a month for our friend Carlton's Project Help Mexico. The pattern I used was the Lifestyle Top Down Hat. A brilliant pattern that can be worked with any yarn. I have a small head so I just made it to fit me, which means I have all the measurements I need with me. The yarn is (from stash) Caron Simply Soft Shadows. I bought it to make a gift that I never got around to. I don't know where the rest of it got to, but it took almost a skein.
The other part of the goals is to follow Needles in the Hay in her challenge to knit a different colour each month. So January Red worked fine. I have some orange and Emily has some yellow. This could work OK. Carlton said the kids like bright colours. The plan is to keep to the stash.
Another idea I have, to use some of my baby wool, is to knit a sweater in honour of the Ravelry baby that Casey and Jess are having, but to donate it to our local Community Services. I will post on their site to see if we can get some momentum going. Interested in knitting along and donating to your own local? Let me know.
Little by little I am getting better. Of course your blogs and the new video casts are keeping me company. I can't just watch Bones. Today I will venture out to the grocery store and then come home to keep up with my stitches.

Wednesday, February 02, 2011


Now that I'm home, I come down with another terrible chest infection. The good news is that my chest is now clear, but I feel like I'm just coming up from underwater. I got some good antibiotics just in case. I don't know if I'll take them.
The Cassidy is coming along without too many hitches. I have to adapt for 5/6 row gauge, but I think it will be OK. It's garnet 220. I just bought the Twist pattern because Artlady made a shawl collar for hers, adapted from Twist, that I love.

I did not get a tshirt on our holiday. But don't feel badly for me. This is from Nordstrums and I love it so much!! The little bird is becoming ubiquitous, but it reminds me of the precious moments of life. I have them all over my desk. Check out Anne Lamott's Bird By Bird writing book.

My souvenir wool shopping included fiberphile super squish worsted in blackberry. I want to make another beret out of this like my Malabrigo Gretel.

Lovally dyed Neighborhood Fiber Co. Studio Worsted in the colour Old Town is exactly the paprika of Emily's second choice grad dress. We ordered it in sapphire blue, but I thought I could knit her a scarf in this because it's such a great colour.

I bought a mug at the Library of Congress. I was so taken with the Jefferson Library exhibit. Here it is with my Shelter yarn in quilt and the scarf Purling Oaks Angie wove for me. Yay.

An embarrassment of riches.

I haven't been able to take pictures of my finished objects because the light was so dreary. Here are the Debbie Bliss Alpaca Silk fingerless mitts, a little worse for wear from our trip. They were cozy, but not always warm enough for the Washington weather.
I didn't get to bring my Moody Kerchief in Malabrigo. I wear it constantly, it's so soft!! I had to knit one when I saw Lala's. The ones on Ravelry are so gorgeous. I'm still getting used to the funky contrast colour edging. I added a set of lace because I had lots of Purple Mystery main colour. I'm glad I didn't go too crazy, because the Twist variegated just made it.
I am not too sick to do a bit of knitting. Just not too complicated. Probably need to make some baby pants for a March shower. All this fretting over patterns. Just go to your own favourites page. Most of those patterns are already downloaded. Stick with what you already like. Especially when you're just resurfacing.