Monday, February 20, 2012

Goal Keeping

 I added a quick gift knit to the queue and actually finished it quickly. They are baby leggings. The yarn was a gift ages ago and I'm glad to use it for a precious baby girl. These leg warmers are very expensive in the shops. I blame my mother for my quick response, "I can make that."
 The Euroflax Linen shawl is finished, washed twice to improve softness, blocked and even steam ironed a bit to get it ready to come to Arizona with us this week. We will be driving around and visiting friends and family.
I made it for Aunt Shirley who is a marvellous hostess and I have a knitting book and some Fleece Artist to join it.
Emily took these pictures, thanks.

Finally the Thin Ice shawl made of Bedazzle in "On a Winter's Morn". Like most shawls, it hung on to its secret until blocking. I kind of fell out of love with it, so it may go in the gift drawer, but at over 7 feet across, it's a lot to impose on a family member.
I have almost completed packing. I misplaced a few items but found them again, repacked my toiletries kit and removed some clothes from the suitcase. Just a bit of laundry now.
There's still drumming practice for tonight's Music Festival Choir competition and my bass guitar lesson.
I wanted to walk the dog, so when the sun came out at 0830, we headed right off. I will miss her, as usual while we're away, but she loves the kennel and she loves coming home.
Now I'm off to visit my mom before we go.
The goals are being checked off in every direction.

Friday, February 17, 2012

Find It Yourself

 It's a flowering Quince. The tree I am looking for. I will find a place in the back yard that gets enough sun and has enough space for it to grow to its bushiness. Next year I will post pictures and you may recall how I am trying to brighten this dark February.
When it's so dark, I don't mind sewing in the basement. I am trying to have a charity scarf on hand to knit for our Green Heart/Warm Heart initiative. We want to collect 175 hand made scarves to hand out at the Salvation Army Christmas Dinner soup kitchen next Christmas. Hope to encourage the different crafting groups to pull together and develop a community while supporting those who are suffering in a manner that is respectful, but caring. Stash and Burn podcast mentioned doing it in San Francisco. I couldn't find a bag the right size, so I made a lined bucket bag with an oval bottom. It was fun to make something so quickly.
I did finish the Thin Ice and it's soaking in Soak now.
Last week I cast on a quick crochet cushion cover for Carly's dog bed. But it is not finished yet. Then I cast on some baby leg warmers for a friend's new baby. Very quick,  not finished the first.
I joined Lala's Mittens for Me knit a long and got most of the first cuff done, but the second clue is already out.
Then there was the preparing travel knitting for next week's trip to Arizona. The Seafoam scarf in grass green Qiviut was easy enough to start. The pattern is already on cards. But what if I run out of knitting, or I'm in a situation where I can't follow a chart?!!!! So I cast on my sister's pattern, euclidia to make a shawl from some gorgeous Misty Alpaca handpainted sock yarn. That just about does it.
Now I am a bit overwhelmed by the number of projects on the needles. Except for the Dahlia sweater, they're all small, but collectively pretty daunting.
I hope to get some good progress on them this weekend, if I can find the time.

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Happy Valentines Day

                                                            May you be surrounded with love.

Monday, February 13, 2012

Budding Ideas

 The witch hazel is blooming already. I meant to plant one last year. Must get me some of that in my back yard so I can enjoy it from my sun room. I also want another old flowering shrub, but can't find the name.
 My mittens are scaring me. I have to find out if I have enough silk to finish them. Three sets of Mawata silk hankies is awfully expensive, but so is abandoning two sets. I have turned my attention to the Thin Ice shawl. Thank goodness I put it on my 12 in 2012 list to keep me focused. I need to finish this before I can get back my Tom Bihn knitting bag which is my best. This bag was designed by the crew. D loves his tri-fold travel laptop case.
 Can you see the sparklies/
 Today I have time and inclination to do some exploration. For my travel knitting, I want to work on the Qiviuk I bought in Banff. I have chosen the Seafoam scarf because of the pie crust edge. I haven't swatched yet, but I put each line of the chart on a separate 3x5  card for ease of knitting in travel.
As well I joined Lala's Mittens for Me knit a long. I think I'll use the rowan fine tweed I bought at Black Sheep. I have 98 yards times 4. Nope. The pattern asks for 275 yards but forgets to say "each colour". Phooey. I have more yarn. Pink and brown? Green and ivory? Probably the gifted electric tree. Good thing I checked on Ravelry.
I also bought Craft Activism which is an excellent book to buy when magazines are running $15.
There are so many new ideas sprouting in the February sunshine!

Friday, February 10, 2012

Brave and Crazy

In my quest for colour, I bought a yellow bag. It is way out of my comfort zone, so I feel very brave. And just a little hip. But you would laugh at that if you knew me.
 The snow drops have bravely made their debut. The weather has suddenly turned cold and rainy and grey. I got caught in the rain. I was wearing a brown shirt with my brown sweater. How dreary it feels when it was cozy in the fall. I bought some bright t shirts and a new raincoat.
 And, to take myself more lightly, I picked up some colourful notebooks for journalling. I no longer keep my journals (process not product) and the leather bound ones were sitting on the shelf, waiting for the real writing. Just write.
The silk mittens are at the top of the queue now that the linen shawl is finished. I went to knitting yesterday morning and had great success knitting on Dahlia. It is our Knit A Long (KAL) so I plan to knit on it when I am in company with those friends. My stitches are smoother and more even when I don't try to impose the gauge.
D is away teaching about milking cows in another province, so I can flit about, or sit and work.
I pick up the boy this evening for his reading break from university. But it is a working break for him with mid terms coming just after. Emily only gets two days, but they were in school later after the Christmas break. It doesn't seem fair.
I work this weekend. The Hospice is quiet on Saturday and Sunday mornings, but heavy work if we don't have volunteers to help. Still I look forward to my time there with the great nurses and the dear patients. I always get especially attached to one or two. It is foolish, but we can't help it.
In my knitting I am bravely learning new skills and new successes. I pray I can sneak that into real life.

Monday, February 06, 2012

Escaping the February Blahs

 On Saturday I drove to UBC in Vancouver for a conference on the children in the church. Awesome! I love being around people who care if there are enough crayons to go around and who can join in singing at any moment. The February fog was all around, but there is no longer the haunting fog horn I used to hear from my dorm window.
 Today is bright and clear, though the wind is a bit biting. The big black dog was up for a real walk, so we did the 5 km block. I couldn't manage a walk yesterday after a steady shift. What I need is a pedometer and a definition edit.
 Here is Em's Moody Kerchief. I was asked for a photo. The top is Alpaca and the bottom is Silk Garden Noro. She wears it quite a bit and has great bravery in mixing colours. I have been wearing my Noro Sock Taize shawl. The conference was about youth worship in the Taize tradition, but I didn't get to share how excited I was with that divine coincidence.
Here's the bandana picnic blanket with the leather belt for storage and transport. Looking forward to my first picnic!

Thursday, February 02, 2012

Searching for the Beautiful

 I work tomorrow, so I had to get lots done today.
I added a trip to the local bead shop and had a ball picking coloured beads for this bracelet. On Saturday I go to UBC to a Children in the Church gathering. I'm taking a class from Doris Kizinna, a friend from camp who wrote a great book on Youth Leadership called Go Deep. I've read it before, but in preparation for the class, I read it again and went way deeper. It was really fun. I can see myself doing it again and doing every single exercise. I don't have a youth group right now, but I want to do some of the fun things with young families.
This bracelet is a prayer practice and each colour suggests a certain idea.
 I made one for myself with natural stones. Oh yah. It is heavy and comforting and I am excited about spending time taking it for a drive.
In the "8 weeks to a better you" project, spending 15 minutes of uplifting reading or scripture study. This is a good addition to my discipline of eating better. My diet also includes journalling which is encouraged in the 8 week plan.
I'm not sure I want to cut out all sugar. I made a banana bread yesterday without sugar or fat and I love it. Go Pinterest. I am not part of the sugar conspiracy theory, but, that said, probably take in too much of it.
I'm sprinkling flowers all through the house in a effort to combat the grey skies. The Ott lights are also sprinkled around the work spaces. We  have had some sunshine, but only in short spurts. Hope you take the time for a cup of tea and a sit and knit.

Wednesday, February 01, 2012

It Must Be Winter

 After several days of perpetual motion, I have sat down at the computer and linkes my passions. There are new blogs from favourite bloggers. New shows, like BBC Sherlock! I don't even have cable. I can watch episodes on line!
 And of course, the great enabler, Pinterest. Where I find new knitting projects, healthy cooking and overprices jewellery. It really is a most relaxing, if not productive pass time. Probably as good as baseball.
And the details! This is Doctor John Watson's mug from the first episode. I love it. I served in the Reserve Forces Medical Corps. In this cold weather I am drinking all my best tea that I have been saving for when the Pope visits. It is delightful and a good way to keep from chowing down on baked goods.
The down side is I can't knit while surfing. But I can while watching episodes. Next: Downtown Abbey. I don't know. Maybe from itunes.