Monday, September 30, 2013

It's Time

 We've almost run out of September. I have enjoyed the wild ride of Single Skein September. There have been hats and mittens. I started another pair last night, but no way are they toddler size! I'm even using a lighter yarn and smaller needles and they just about fit me. Must choose. Either finish them and give them to an adult, or abandon them and get out the fine yarn for the sweet young things. I'll probably do both. I'm so pleased that the Stash and Burn thread encouraged me to finish the alpaca blanket. I've got buttons on the finished hood that failed to make it to Christmas last year.
Christmas knitting is well under way!
I started and finished this hat for one of my great nephews. In the spirit of stash busting, I used a Socks That Rock held double. No finer wool for washing and wearing. Plus it resisted becoming socks more than once.
 I was entranced by this scarf that Rory is wearing in the 4th season of the Gilmore Girls. What a great show! Thanks knitters for not only bringing it to my attention, but sharing your seasons with me. Love the banter! Can't believe this is 10 years ago, or so. When I reviewed the disc to pin down the scarf, it didn't excite me as much as the first time I saw it. Still, I have some lovely alpaca from my birthday and I loved knitting the Twilight scarf for my dear neighbour. It's nice to have a knit on the needles that is just for pleasant knitting.
My knitting lists will now morph and change as we head into a new month. I need to finish the Fair Isle sweater of so many seasons, make more sweet mittens, finish the cowl for D, and do some painting, gluing and stitching types of crafts.
My dress worked out perfectly! I hope to cut out the second one today in the more formal fabric, so I can wear it to the family wedding in October. I have to knit a Ice Queen smoke ring for my BFF (who doesn't read blogs) and maybe matching Mrs. Beeton mitts for Xmas. All from the stash, she says righteously. Just overlook the frenzy of yarn buying that was September. Why did that come out in all caps?
Carly is doing well with some anti-inflammatory meds, as am I . We managed to walk the big block twice last week. As per Dr. Gemma from the Cogknitive Podcast, we will continue our normal routine, but add a super walk once a week.
I'll try to get the camera out on all the finished objects and gifts in progress to share. We have had up to 30 people at knit night and great fun with drop spindling and making hats for the Salvation Army Christmas dinner. With last night's rain storm, and the heat coming on in the house, I feel we have turned the calendar page and entered the next season: soups and sweaters and snuggling!

Monday, September 23, 2013

In Other Crafting News

In addition to knitting, I have been getting to know my top whorl suspended spindle again. I finished the little bit of dark roving I got with the spindle and am making a very thin single. Two of the knitters from my knit night are drop spindling and I'm a joiner. I have been hearing the siren call since Tour de Fleece and hope to get familiar with it.
I have also taken over my son's room (also the guest room) to do some much anticipated sewing. I bought a pattern from Cake Patterns, Tiramisu, and am sewing a stretch dress. There are lots of things for me to learn, so my first dress is being called my "muslin" and I can learn (make mistakes) as much as I want. I have some more fabric in a dark teal for a better representation. This designer, like my knitting designers, has a blog and on line help and a photo gallery where many of the models are "curvy" like me. The cross over bodice, defined waist and generous skirt are all qualities I look for in a dress.
Plus this pattern has custom sizing. I'm a white knuckle sewer, though and kind of pulled my back out yesterday futzing with the binding. I'll get back to it tomorrow.
But today is for the heat pad and some red work embroidery. I'm making tea towels for MIL to go with the red dish cloths. Not a fancy gift, but something made just for her that I hope she'll like.

Friday, September 20, 2013

The Medium is the Message

I miss Google Reader. I thank Jasmin of the Knitmore Girls Podcast for learning how to manage the blogs I read. And then things changed. I am not keeping up as well as I used to, I don't feel connected, and I'm sure I've lost a few all together.
Now I'm using . It's Ok. I may learn to love it in time.
Here are some blogs that I follow regularly. These writers and photographers have brought so much to my life, knitting and otherwise. Some of them I have been reading and following for years before Some of them are a bit newer. But I crave ideas, opinions, and the beauty of every day life, and I thank them, you.

1.Religion Outside the Box. Rabbi Brian is open hearted and open minded and doesn't mind scolding me for my selfishness, or encouraging me to look at things in a new way.

2. Completely Cauchy. Chawney is unlike anyone I've ever met and I love our little friendship. She is one of the most creative and productive crafters I know of.

3. Posie Gets Cozy. Alicia is the neighbour I wish I had. I love what she shares and always feel comforted by the beauty of her life.

4. Enjoying the Small Things.  Kelle is young and beautiful, brave and wise. I love how she embraces girly things and nurtures her family. I love her book, Bloom, too.

5. Mason Dixon Knitting. This is an original knitting blog, in the form of letters between friends. They have become authors and keepers of knowledge, as well as great comedians.

6. We Heart Yarn. I hate to go even a few days without seeing a post by neuroknitter. She always answers comments, too.

7. This Week on TED. Always ideas, always well presented.

8. Attic 24. Lucy shares her life and crafting in the north of England. Such a lovely person with colour all around her.

9. Pioneer Woman. I have had such pleasure from the cooking, ranching and building ideas on this blog. I've never seen her show, but I have bought her cook books several times, and still don't have one of my own.

10. Life's a Stitch. This was my entry drug into the world of on-line knitting. I searched for a yarn store near by and came up with a blog! Li introduced me to the Yarn Harlot and Urban Yarns and so many good things. We have even had lunch once. Our lives have both changed so much since then, and I appreciate reading about hers.

Those are the big ones. My list has become very long and sometimes unmanageable. These blogs led me to podcasts, but that's a post for another day.

Friday, September 13, 2013

Two Wrongs

 I'm loving Single Skein September. We stopped at a Joanne's craft store in Cannon Beach and I bought a skein of eye searing orange, super bulky Lion's Brand yarn. It made a Hat Shaped Hat in a couple of hours. This is a gift for my brother in law to tell him I love him enough to not get shot in the woods.
 I finally made the Hallowig. I've planned this for years and even bought the yarn a long while ago. It seemed to knit up quickly after all. Quite a bit of it was done in the car on our trip.
 Same thing with the alpaca blanket. I didn't work on it for years, and then it's done in just a month. I'm very happy with it and will probably save it for a milestone birthday gift.
 I'm planning to knit mittens for my great-nephews. The Afghans for Afghans charity organization has a great simple pattern. I made an owl cable on the front a la Kate Davies. It was tricky to place the owl in the right place.
 The second one was placed in the exact same way.
 Oops. Exactly the same. Now I have to make two left ones.
 The first was made last night, despite a migraine and a 12 hour shift.
I'm starting the second left now. The extra pair will be donated to Chilliwack Connect, a multi-organization offering to those who are struggling in our community. I may offer to do child care or something like that.
So, am I more embarrassed by sharing this or by hiding my mistakes? I will send it out to help you from making two rights.

Tuesday, September 10, 2013


 On Friday I drove to Oregon with friends. It took us twelve hours when you include the stops for books, coffee and lunch, and turn off at the first sign of the 101. One of the knitters had been to Gearhart by the Sea, north of Seaside and Cannon Beach, with her quilters. It was lovely and beachy.
 From our 4th floor balcony we could see all kinds of change and weather.
 The new moon was only up for a few short hours. I was sad when she slipped away. The internet was crappy and I couldn't contact my astronomer at home. We did a bit of knitting and a bit of shopping and some really good cooking with few ingredients.
 I found Blue Moon in its natural habitat. This is over 500 yards of a heavy fingering. Yum.
 Don't touch this viscose  yarn. Killer booties! So soft.
 And Lenore in medium weight Socks That Rock to make myself some boot socks (and recite poetry).
 Books. Some clearance, one out of print. Plus two accessories magazines that I can't get close to home.
 I did knit a dish cloth in the back seat while S drove through Seattle. Chinese waves. It'll do. The tunisian one was just too small. This took exactly one ball. I will make two more, but probably different, for MIL.
 I knit the Hallowig. Finally! I have wanted to knit this for so many years! I bought the eye searing blue years ago. And then it is a very quick knit.
 We lunched on the edge of a marina in Olympia and I never get tired of watching the tide come in.
 Coastal yarns was the very nice shop in Cannon Beach, but the girl behind the counter had some kind of anxiety issues and was rude to my BFF. Come on. We are all knitters.
 Next to the quilt shop was a stunning glass gallery. I wanted all the bowls.
 Because there was not enough knitting, and I took the I-5 home, we had plenty of time to stop in Mt. Vernon for the lovely Wild Fibers. A fun shop.
They are very much in line with Churchmouse Yarns, another store I love. Maybe next time we will stay by the sea side, but closer to home and these very special enough shops.

Monday, September 02, 2013

Fresh Start

I promised some knitting. This is the acrylic sweater I have just finished of Mary Maxim yarn I found for $7 at Value Village. I was not going to knit a dinosaur in intarsia. Instead I just cast on a sleeve and worked on it at the fair. The body is a little different because I'm trying to use the yarn but still save some. I ended up starting the neck three times, but I managed to find some black acrylic to do a regular crew neck.
Now that it is finished, I can cast on my Single Skein September Hitchhiker of birthday yarn!
 I'm also diligently working on my Churchmouse Yarns Vintage Crocheted Blanket for SBSMABAL (Slowly But Surely Making a Blanket A Long) and am half done! Both groups are with the Stash and Burn podcast. Love the people on their board!

On Thursday we took Emily to UVic. I am wearing my linen Minimalist for the first time and it seriously stretched! I will try putting it in the dryer.
                       She wore the Purple Africa shawl that she designed and I knit for her.
                                                    It was a messy ferry ride.
But her home is charming and clean and her land lord is totally detailed oriented. 10 minute walk from campus, about  20 minutes to her classes.
Setting up the new kitchen. She has already made a few dinners.
Her new bed with the entrelac blanket I made her and the stuffy she made.
We also moved Scott's things out of the storage locker. Got to see his new home and it is lovely. His girlfriend hadn't quite moved in yet and we didn't get to see her, but it looks like a nice home.
 We had a few good meals with just us four and enjoyed both of them. Make sure you eat at the Noodle Box if you're in Victoria!
Emily and I snuck out to China Town and Beehive Yarns while the boys transferred our Civic to Scotty. The day was so nice with the morning on campus and the afternoon closer to the harbour.
On Friday we returned, just D and I. The kids are both set up for success. I was working on my blanket like a good knitter and we are starting our next phase as empty nesters. Today I scrubbed the bathroom and it will stay clean for a good long time. I have a few other projects like that, but not on this Labour Day. The sun is out and I'm off to walk the dog and listen to some favoured podcasts.