Friday, October 23, 2015

Working on a Phd ( Partially Half Done)

 Autumn has arrived, here in the Fraser Valley. The mornings are chilly, and sometimes foggy. The afternoons are warm and golden.
 I actually finished these ribbed socks for my son for Christmas. They should make good hiking socks in Sweet Georgia's Tough Sock with Paton's Kroy for heels and toes. Knit from the cuff down, I should be able to make the toes longer or shorter if needed (even though I fussed and worried about the fit for a long time).
 Another tea mitten. This is for the teapot of our new minister who has already served me tea in her office and shared coffee with me in many venues.
 For comfort, I knit on my sock yarn blanket. I don't want the word scrap in here because I love all these yarns and I still love the socks and shawls I made from them. This is a long term project. I keep finding more wool to use. Who knows how big I will want to make it, 40 inches? I might want it to fit my lap, or be a gift for a baby. I will miss it when it's done.

Finally making some progress on D's Leo sweater. The silky wool is not that fun to work with, and the fingering weight means a lot of knitting for a man's large sweater. I am using progress keepers to help me measure and feel I have knit a bit. Almost done the front and ready to cast on both sleeves to knit concurrently.
I want to finish this before I work on either of my two shawls or cast on a third shawl and two cowls. I am craving some colour!
 The centre of the baby Hap blanket is finished and is blocked to get rid of some of the kinkiness from unwinding it. I cast on the edging in grey, that matches her brother's blanket, and have started the feather and fan portion. This is also a priority Christmas project, because when the season starts, I don't want to have the stress of finishing. I want to work on something colourful and lovely for me.
Took a quick trip to the Island to see Emily's UVic Wind Symphony concert. It was wonderful and I met a terrific mom whose daughter was a clarinet soloist. Very exciting and a proud moment.

Saturday morning was breakfast downtown Victoria and wandering around Chinatown, which I love. Tea and import shops and there was a giant spinning whorl.

Emily and I traded bikes. Ours are a lot alike, but mine has gears, which she needs for all the hills in Victoria. This coaster bike is fine for our very flat valley. Right away I cycled to the mall for some items. It should work out fine.

 Able to do a little gardening in the nice weather. The ground is now nice and wet and easy to weed. The violets have come back to our front door.

 The hellebore is blooming. I said it was a Christmas Rose and knows all the Christmas decorations are already in the stores.
Decisions have been made about my Alpine Frost shawl. But I had to ask my best friend. I am not going to put an edge on it, but I can crochet to the end of the ball, about 10 inches more, and that will make it more wearable for me. This was cast on in January, but I have rarely really worked on it. Funny how things go faster when you actually work on them.
One reason, I discovered, that I am not working on this stole, is because I don't like the idea of not having it there to turn to. I can't do a lot of crochet because it hurts my hand, but it is soothing and rhythmic. So I bought yarn to make another of alpaca silk in a steel grey for a friend we hope to visit in New York next spring.

Tonight we are having friends over and I have my system in order. At 3 pm I will heat up the oven and start peeling the vegetables for the roaster. The dessert dishes are set aside and the wine is being chilled. Again with no last minute plans. When my guests arrive, I like all the food to be ready and I can just focus on them and let them relax.
Hang in there.
It has been a bit crazy here with D working long hours and dealing with some people who are very disappointing in their interpersonal reactions. We are just not up for that kind of unpleasantness anymore. I am learning to sit for shorter periods and do some of my work standing up, or in alternate work spaces and that is helping with my limitations.
We are no longer looking forward to it being all over. We are living in the midst of it all. When the sweater is blocked and sewn, there is another project already on the needles.

Tuesday, October 13, 2015

Changing Seasons

 The temperature has finally made it to "seasonable", which means crisp and chilly and much less scorching. I was able to block my Shaelyn Shawl in BFL "Mermaid Hair" dyed by my own daughter. This is a great size, even though I had to cheat the last stockinette section. It's big enough to be a versatile accessory, now that it feels like autumn.

 I have taken up the much neglected Alpine Frost scarf. Joining the third ball was an encouraging milestone. I would like to crochet 8 inches in this ball and then start the edging as Alicia did in her blog, Posy Gets Cozy. She has a corgi named Clover Meadow, but the big star is her sweet little daughter in their Portland setting.
 There was some success in making stitch markers. I also whipped up the great pattern, Maize fingerless mitts, in the clearance priced Cascade 200 superwash aran. How is it that I always underestimate the softness and roundness of 220? These are for my hair dresser to send to her husband who is in basic training in the air force in eastern Canada. 

 D read to me an article in his Discover magazine. Are we going mainstream?

We celebrated Canadian Thanksgiving this weekend with family and turkey feasts. On Friday I helped take my friend's son to the airport but that night my kids surprised me by coming home early.
 Here they are with their masks we brought back for them from New Orleans

We voted in the Federal election at the early opportunity so Em could have her chance.
We had a delightful evening at my SIL's on Saturday night and all the young people played board games.
 Mom and Paw came over for turkey sandwiches and salads. We had a nice relaxed meal. D was on call, so we were able to include him.
I am so thankful that I found my interchangeable needle set and their little pouch in the beading supplies. This has been lost for almost 2 years and I had given up on it. Both were gifts from D.
Last week my nephew's wife came over and we crafted a banner for her amazing 2 month old daughter. It was great fun and Mommy did a great job exploring crafting, which is totally outside her comfort level. We have known each other through camp and she was in our youth group and one of our favourite people. It amazes me how sensible young moms are these days. This is one contented baby.
 I found out that they did like the blanket I knit for their son and so got to work making a mercerized cotton blanket for the new one. This yarn was such a find. I knit a shawl that ended up too small to use and had not enough left over to do anything with. So I frogged the shawl and I'm knitting a Hap Blanket using this and some colours from the big brother's blanket. It will make a nice gift for a first Christmas.
 The yarn looks kinky, like socks knitted from a sock blank, but will relax in a soak. Cotton doesn't have memory, either. The centre is this orchid and the edging will be grey and green with a bit more of the purple.
Today I stripped the beds and washed the floors. The house is quiet again and I am still going a bit crazy with washing walls and the little nooks and crannies that get forgotten. Hopefully that will make my Xmas washing easier.
I still have D's sweater (1/2 front and sleeves) to knit out of Silky Wool in fingering. It is a bit neglected, but still sloggy. I think I'll knit the sleeves on the ferry this weekend when I go to see Emily's Wind Symphony concert.
I can feel the Christmassy feeling just around the corner, and then I'll want to work on his cross stitch stocking more as well.
I am making myself finish the crochet scarf before I can work on the other two shawls on my needles. Why? Because I am worried I will never finish it, and because I feel like there are just too many projects on the needles. By the end of this month, I hope to be starting a whole new season of projects!