Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Not Black

The beautifu silk and alpaca black lace is so hard to knit. Whine, whine. Today I went to the LYS and bought some Borroco NaturLin (40% Linen, 60%Rayon) to do a diagonal lace linen wrap from Churchmouse Yarns. I would have bought their Louet Euroflax if I hadn't been gobsmacked by all the choices in the shop. Check out their newsletter for the pattern.
This is in addition to the 241 stitches I cast on yesterday for the Summer Mystery Shawl. I was all gung ho to knit that along with the others as it was posted, but got caught up in some awful yarn. There is no room for awful yarn in my knitting world.
The stress has been rampant. The knitting is the retreat. Don't mess with my relaxation.
So the diagonal lace shawl will be my mindless knitting, along with the sock and the sweater (aka the big sock). The poor black shawl will take the brunt of the difficult knitting. I can only knit it in the daylight and the quiet (note to D: no mowing, note to the dog next door: no barking, note to the crows: stop cawing).
 I won't tell the first nations neighbours to stop drumming because it's beautiful, but I won't be able to knit the black.

Monday, June 27, 2011

An Even Bigger Weekend

It seems, lately, that each weekend is trying to out do it's past neighbour.
 This is our third wedding. My nephew married a girl from our youth group who is also a dairy farmer, so the guests were all familiar. The venue my brother in law's family ranch where he married my sister the week I graduated from high school. This week my daughter has her grad prom.
 The ranch is sold, so it was a bit sad to be around the familiar landscape. It's just past our camp. The rain held off and the sun came out a little.
 Everything was so beautiful and gracious. The couple we relaxed and I danced the night away with my kids and my sisters. We missed the family that couldn't be there.
 Such a luscious mixture of luxury and rustic. Relaxed elegance.
We stayed as late as my daughter would allow, dancing up a storm. I had just come off two night shifts, so the time didn't matter.
The next day was a grad presentation at church and then a wrap up BBQ at our place for a very long Bible Study D has led. Great people came over with yummy salads, but I had to leave in the middle to take Em to camp. She is there for the summer, but I'll see her tonight at the Board Dinner, on weekends when I pick her and her laundry up, and for a whole week when I'm the nurse.
There was a bit of knitting when I finally got the lace set up rows on my black silk alpaca Flaming Flowers Stole. It was beastly trying to find quiet day light to make it work and there was much tinking. I'm on my way  now, I hope, but every row is lace. The nephew sweater is now just a big sock that I can knit around and around, even in poorer basement TV light. Guess which one will get the love? I want to cast on one of Wendy's shawls to take to Kamloops, the Summer Mystery or the Japanese Garden, now that I have the yarn, but I'm afraid I will neglect the black shawl all together, like I did last summer. Maybe if I get enough done on it, I can do the long pink cast on.
This weekend is Canada Day, a possible yarn crawl to Three Bags Full, my sister's birthday, grad reunion, and then a trip to the ranch in Kamloops. Whooooee.
This week is pretty full with camp meetings, but no night shifts.

Monday, June 20, 2011

Yarn Crawl!!

My dear friend Liz and I took a trip to Bainbridge Island and Churchmouse Yarns and Teas. I met her in Bellingham and she drove her neat new Kia Soul to the ferry terminal in Seattle. We had lunch at Iver's Fish and Chips, a real Seattle moment.
The ferry trip was a lot like going to Saltspring Island, but not familiar. The ferry reminded me of the ones we travelled on from Manly to Sydney when we visited Australia. We gabbed and gabbed.
On the way home we took the ferry at the north end of the island to Everet. The ferry is only about 35 minutes. Next time we would probably walk on because the shop is only about a 10 minute walk from the pier.
We actually separately stated that we weren't looking for any yarn because we love our yarn and we have enough stash. You've probably heard that before. I found this sublime Sublime baby silk and bamboo dk. Yum. Shiny. I want to try the Japanese Garden Shawl and these reminded me of cherry blossoms: Sakura. I also got a cute zippered bag by rockflowerpaper at the shop next door.
Churchmouse was charming and filled with happy knitters. They publish patterns and all their personal stuff is so classy and clean with black and white and linen. I caved and bought their famous Koigu Linen Stitch Scarf pattern which was free when you bought the three random skeins of Koigu. I wanted a little yellow to pop through like in the photo. 
We had the best Earl Grey Tea, ever, at Black Bird Bakery and I bought some fabric at the amazing fabric store across the big dig that is their main street.
Never have my expectations of a destination shop been so greatly met. Part of it was the company (Rowan Felted Tweed in hand) and part of it was the calm and pretty atmosphere. They have needlepoint as well (I have two UFOs) and Bridgewater pottery which I have always loved, but can't afford. The staff were helpful and friendly.
Jared Flood was recently there and took their photos for their website and newsletter. In July they're having a big sale. Sivia Harding is teaching in August and I would just love to go back.
Today is my husband's birthday. He was away at a highland games this weekend (hence the opening in my schedule). We have BBQ  ribs and baked potatoes (man food) and  Emily is baking a cake! Happy Birthday D!

Friday, June 17, 2011

Another Year

I started publishing this blog in 2006. I wanted to join into the rich community that was on line knitting. And boy was I thrilled by the word 'publish'. Like Fibernymph, I consider myself a writer. It has been a few years since I've kept a proper journal. I don't know if this blog allows me to channel my writing, or keeps me from it, but I value the richness of conversation, the trends and ideas, the large fibery thing that I feel a part of. You are my tribe.
I walked the big black dog this evening and I could finally smell the corn and the little blackberry blossoms. there was cut grass, not quite hay, but sweet and entrancing any way.
I am wearing wool socks and a Malibrigo worsted Moody Kerchief. This is knitting weather. I am OK with moderate. I'm OK with rain, especially on sleep days after night shift.
Today my daughter had a new music lesson on Ryder Lake. We used to have property at the top of that mountain and I spent many long summer days riding horses on its winding narrow roads. How I would love to have a place up there to sit alone and think and write. I am overwhelmed with tasks for camp and the grad dinner, gardening and the poor messy house.
Perhaps this is the impetus to get back to my novel. You can start a plan any day.
In the last 5 years I have returned to nursing, taken up the ukelele and opened all manner of new doors. The knitters I know on line are always challenging themselves to explore new territory. The old maps used to say, "Beyond this there be dragons".
Well, let this be the year that I meet a few more dragons.

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Dashing Along

 I finished the Swallowtail shawl in cotton. The nupps were the worst part, but easily handled with the crochet method I found on knitty.com. I have to get these pictures on my blog is I want to import them to the Knit Girllls Stash Dash forum. The goal is to knit 5 km this summer. Because I got to count the entrelac blanket, I have a chance of making it.
 The shawl was a bit crunchy after blocking, but it softened up with wear and is actually pretty warm. With 500 metres of cotton, you can get a lot of weight, but I find it comfortable. I like the big size, 61 x 33 inches.
 I'm exploring my old skill of crochet. I made a proposal to teach crochet at a local shop, but when the email didn't go through, I just hung on to it. Now I printed it out, but I forget where it is. I don't need to visit a wool shop this week. I 'm trying to use my stash this summer.
This hat, from the simple pattern, Remembering Gage, was quick and easy. The yarn was donated by someone at church and the hat will join the others in the spectrum for Help Mexico Project.
With alternating rows of different stitches, it has a pleasing texture. It would look better with stripes, but I am also following Needles In the Hay's project of knitting a different colour in the spectrum each month.
Because of the hockey game last night, I had a meeting postponed till tonight. That meant I was only double booked. I enjoyed visiting with my choir as a wrap up, and then toodled over to the high school to help make decorations for the grad dance. They were already done. I was so embarrassed.
My Dad used to call me "Blister" because I showed up when the work was finished.
I have another chance to help on Thursday.
There was way too much counting yesterday. I set up a new shawl in the black alpaca/silk from Palm Desert. It took a few tries to get used to the simple lace pattern in the Flaming Flowers Stole.
Then I set to adapting a dishcloth to an afghan square, but that's a surprise.
The rain has settled down a little, so I think I'll do the outdoor windows today. Then I can enjoy my wet garden from my knitting chair.

Sunday, June 12, 2011

Weekend Fun

I am finally sitting down to catch up with you (all). This is my first spinning! It is 12 meters of Jacob/Cotswold from a 22 g sampler I bought at Twist of Fate when I bought my drop spindle (1n 2009, I think). Yay for first spinning. It plied up quite well, but isn't long enough to make anything of. I'll just admire it for now until it has some friends.
I made a new friend at World Wide Knit In Public day at our locally owned coffee house. Hi squelchbaker!! She actually found us on the web and is so cool I can't wait for her to see the podcasts and blogs I love. This is the coffee cup I knit for Decades coffee house to thank them. It has been decided that we will meet at this shop on Tuesdays in the future. Maybe every Tuesday, who knows? I am struggling with keeping in touch with the knitting circle as no one wants to check the Rav boards.
My baby bird has graduated. It was a lovely ceremony and the Canucks won the game. She is going on to music school to become a teacher. We took her and our niece to Wicked today to celebrate. I was a little tired after last night's Mozart concert, but we sang well and the orchestra was sublime. I wish I could have snuck a peak at our soprano soloist, but I had the little flower girl in hand and she grabbed my sock and learned to knit before I could stop her. So sweet in her purple dress with my 1.75 mm magic loop singing, "Under the fence, catch the sheep, back we come, off we leap". Lovely 8 year old.
Here is another shot at the Lady Emily with the fringe. I may enter it into the fair. We have been asked to  demonstrate knitting, which is a lot like knitting. I work the one day, but hope to set up the site and encourage the others.
I must get to blocking my Swallowtail Shawl. I had my druthers about the cotton, and bravely worked through the nupps (with a crochet hook), but I feared I would never finish it. Then I looked at the charts and realized 3B was just the other half of 3A and I'd already completed it by knitting in mirror image from the centre stitch. I even worked on it at KIP because I was on the last lace border. The sock was a good companion, too and came to the concert and played with me in the car to the show today. I'll get more pics when they are certified for the Knit Girllls Stash Dash, finished and blocked.
Tomorrow has cancelled meetings and events because of the play off game. I will meet with my choir friends and just get updates as to the score. I'm not sure how much more fun I can fit in.

Monday, June 06, 2011

With the Summer Sun

I'm listening to Mozart Piano Concertos and reading Proust this summer. I have planned to read the six volume "In Search of Lost Time" since I first came across it in Calgary in 1984. It was my first Folio purchase. I have a few books commenting about it, so I'm not alone.

Right away I feel it is very languorous and poetic. This may put me in the right frame of mind to enjoy a slower pace. I hope to read it at each "lunch hour". I try to take some time to sit and catch up in the middle of the day.
Without knitting, I would lose so many threads of thought. I need only take up the knitting and my mind will collect all sorts of important thoughts. The trick, according to David Allen of the Getting Things Done System is to capture the information. Find a tool that works, capture the information and set it going where it needs to go.

I finished the Lady Eleanor as a blanket (3.5 x 5 feet) and Emily and I have decided it needs its fringe. I have started cutting it, but it's cutting into my knitting time. That empty needle is one of my first Addi's given to me by my shepherd/artist sister. I've been knitting on this, off and on, since January 2010. It's 2,310 meters toward my Stash Dash (not counting fringe).
We had fun at the 12 hour Relay For Life, but I can't post pictures of other peoples' children. There was music and walking and silliness!
Last night we went to my niece's grad. She and Em are the same age and good friends. It was small, only 33 grads at a private school, but pleasant. I had nothing to wear! I did find some good things at the store, on sale, and now have all my summer clothes, those that went to Palm Desert, and those that were left behind, in a big ironing pile. I may have to bring the ironing upstairs because it is so lovely with the sun and the breeze and the gazebo and the pink flowers in pots.
I hope to embrace this time before it slips away.

Friday, June 03, 2011

Mail Day

The mail man cometh (or to use more inclusive language, the postman). Thanks so much to Innerpeace1081  for my lovely afghan square. We are in a swap with other fans of the Knit Girllls video podcast and send each other squares that will eventually be an afghan. This one is soft and a bit more teal than the picture shows. I love the Jojoland Baritone and the elegant cables. It's very sheepy There was also a lovely stitch marker and a notebook. And for my knitting hands, some hand cream. What a treat.
Tonight I go to the hockey arena, where the ice has been removed, and take part in a 12 hour relay to raise money for the Canadian Cancer Society with our regional youth group. It will be like a crazy night shift with music and games. I'm fussing now about what knitting to bring. I have four more triangles on the entrelac blanket. The orchid shawl is probably too complex. I am actively neglecting the grey laceweight cardigan (why?).
So I'm winding up some Blue Moon Laci that I won't start on till September- good use of time while listening to Coffee Break Spanish podcast. I'm really starting to learn Spanish!
Next I'll wind up the black silk/alpaca, but  I won't start that until the orchid Swallowtail is done. I still cant' decide on a pattern. I want a thick lace border and not too much dense fabric in the centre. The new Brooklyn Tweed Rock Island looks fancy enough. But I'm also fussing that I have so many patterns. Why buy another?
I frogged the blue socks that never even made it to Ravelry and barely made it past the cuff. They are the only semi-solid fingering weight I have. Why waste them on socks when I'm going out and buying new yarn? Not this summer. Stash Dash. Stash down.
I will have to resist the on-line sales even though there's nothing like getting treats in the mail.

Thursday, June 02, 2011

Enough of That

I really don't like this yarn. It is not "Charming". I frogged my Wendy Mystery Shawl. It means I don't get to knit with thousands of you and I miss 200m of stash dash. But I don't have to put up with the scratchies. The worst was the striping!
Made a sign for the World Wide Knit in Public event. I hope someone shows up. I have to practice for a concert.
The sun came out briefly and I repotted the Angelica tulips in the garden to make room for geraniums.
Finally put the buttons on the Meliabella Pedestrian cowl. It counts as a Quickie KAL with Fibernymph, but not for this month. I'm very late to the game, but early for Christmas.
Daybreak is done. 540 m of Cascade Heritage. It grew in gentle blocking, but it's not huge. Cold enough to wear it this Junuary day.