Thursday, November 28, 2013

In Keeping With the Season

 I am almost done my long list of Christmas knitting. In addition to the hats I made for my dad and BIL, I made 5 for our Chilliwack Common Threads Knitting Circle hat drive. We already have enough for the Salvation Army Christmas dinner. The baby clothes will go to a local baby support group, Meadow Rose, the scarves and mitts went to the Realtors blanket round up. I still have quite a few hats and they come in every week, but we have another shelter to serve.
This hat is alpaca and for my FIL. He walks 3 miles every day near the canal and I wish for him to have warm ears.
 For my BFF I made Bronte Mitts. I was going to add Kid Silk Haze (from her smoke ring) to the Ultra Alpaca Light, but they were warm enough. I hope they look like a set.
 The snow is starting to decorate our Mt. Cheam. Every time you look at her, she is more regal. It's fun to go on facebook and everyone has posted their own Mt. Cheam photo.
 I stopped the car to take this picture. It's very close to the view from my grandmother's kitchen door window. It feels like home. If I could look at the sun going down between the mountains every day, it would help me with calming.
 We had friends over for dinner. We don't do it very often, but our friends are lots of fun and we always have a good time. Our next hosting will be our big Xmas Eve open house, but I hope to have impromptu knitting drop ins. The carpets were cleaned yesterday, so I can start with the decorating.
 Mittens number 9 are finished. I enjoyed this pattern from petite purls magazine, but I had to change to my lightest yarn to make them toddler size. I'm already wrapping them. Half a pair left and gifting knitting is done. I am part way through the log cabin blanket, but the strips are getting so much longer, I'm not sure of how long it will take.
I gifted a pair of Xmas mittens as a birthday present, so I made another quick pair for my niece out of the Cascade 220 superwash I bought in Canmore. This is a great yarn. With the leftovers, I made myself a hat from the Be Kind pattern. 
 What a treat. I wore it yesterday during my 4 km walk/ run. I am working up to 5km (3 times around the field), but slowly. I have a nagging knee, but I am so pleased with my aerobic capacity improvement. The big black dog can only go around once, so I'm walking her a bit, taking her home, and then doing my 40 minutes.
 A Santa hat that I didn't knit last year. I made a few the year before and people begged for them. I hope to wear this one to work, and I know a sweet patient who might want to have it. She would look adorable in a Santa hat.
 My insanity was not complete until I crocheted a cat cave. My son and his girlfriend have a great little orange tabby and this project lured me in. First you make the t-shirt yarn, or Tarn. Then you crochet the pattern: top, sides, bottom. Next I will get some corrugated cardboard to build up the walls. Quite the engineering. But the pattern was very clear. Now to make a catnip mouse to live in it.
Next up I'm doing quite a bit of short travel. I want to go to the ranch, then we look forward to the annual trip to the city for shopping with old friends from our UBC days.

Soon I can start decorating and wrapping and baking, if it's in keeping with the season.

Saturday, November 16, 2013


I have been having trouble getting everything done, lately. I'm behind on blogging and correspondence in general.
 Last weekend was Remembrance Day. Years ago, when I was serving in the Canadian Medical Corps Reserves, I attended the downtown Vancouver parade with ambulances back up. Later I played drums in the Canadian Legion Branch 4 Pipe Band at the Chilliwack Cenotaph. When my kids were smaller and I was teaching drumming, we paraded at the Vedder Crossing Cenotaph, which has a lovely service. This year I went to watch D's band parade at the Agassiz Cenotaph. Agassiz is a tiny town on the north side of the Fraser River and corn capital of Canada.
My poppy is from Laura Chau's Poppy pattern.
 D is pipe major and working hard to get the various small bands to work and play together.
 From the other side of the Fraser River, it's hard to recognize our Mt. Cheam of the Cascades range.
 A lovely antique Union Jack. The stitching was amazing.
 Each town has a Legion where the veterans can meet and play darts and drink. Each has a colour party of flags.
 Here's the pipe band. They just finished Scotland the Brave and are marching without playing. It was only about 5 blocks altogether.
 D calls the tune,
 He turns around.
 They fill up their bags,
 and play as they go by.
 Here is Nancy, a knitter and librarian. Her daughter has the short dark hair in the pictures above and they are my new best friends on Ravelry.
 Can't have a parade without handsome Mounties. They are certainly getting younger!

Carly and I have been enjoying warm fall weather without too much rain. The new path behind our house if perfect for walk/jog program. We went around twice today.
We have reached the 120 hat requirement for the Salvation Army Christmas Dinner. I worked twice this week, so someone else from the group (thanks Janet) picked up 3 bags of hats from the wool shop. Some of them will help the Lions Club provide hats for a local school. There is always Community Services and the Transition House. It worked out last year.
Now I can stop knitting Dude hats and focus on the last two pairs of mittens. Then maybe my UFO- the fair isle sweater. Loving the long rows of garter stitch on the log cabin baby blanket. I have been drawn to the relaxing simple knitting, lately.

Saturday, November 09, 2013

Operation Sock Drawer

Hear that band? See that wagon? Expect me to be not far behind. I am seeing beautiful sock drawers on facebook and instagram and hearing about them on many podcasts. On the Stash and Burn board on Ravelry I found a 2014 Challenge that I think will suit me.
Knit 6 pairs of socks in a year. That's one sock a month.
 Plus one sock is already knit and the second stripy afterthought sock is on the needles. I wanted it set up for emergency knitting. It's in the car. Two of the skeins are medium weight because I like thick socks with my boots. One has tried a few times to be socks and failed. I'll try to get that one done first. That'll be in March. Hoot.
These are my socks. They don't all fit well. Two pairs need new toes. I bought some charcoal Patons Kroy because it is so strong. I'm thinking about doing all my toes in the grey. They will wear well and leave more yarn for high legs. I like to do toe up and some of my yarns are a bit skimpy for my size 10 feet.
In the winter I wear wool socks and Birkenstock clogs in the house. I wash them in the washing machine, but hang them to dry.
This is me dreaming that the Christmas knitting of mittens will soon be done. I cast on a hat for my father in law, and there will be more hats for charity, too before I can tuck into the socks. I am having second thoughts about the mittens for my daughter because I got a shipment from Kama Sutra Fibre Arts of some crazy beautiful rainbow seasilk. They will not be socks, but I am enamoured with the idea of Suzy's Reading Mitts made into Reading Rainbow mitts. But the cabled ones from Botanical knits are also lovely and I've half finished one.
Time to slide into the simple knitting of the log cabin. It, too needs to be done, just after Christmas.

And then I can knit socks. It's going to be a cozy sock year.

Sunday, November 03, 2013

Other Things I Like to Do

 I found some hyacinth bulbs. I'm always too late when I want to force them in the new year. I bought a few extra that I can keep in the fridge and grow them in succession. I also planted my amaryllis for Christmas. I will take one to the hospice again, when it gets closer to the holidays.
 Instead of knitting, I made two fluffy ribbon scarves for my head nurse. At first I was supposed to teach her, but she couldn't connect with me. Then she said I would just do it. I started, but balked until she gave me a lovely thank you gift. That's not playing fair. At least they are done and out of the house.
 A whole afternoon was spent seaming the WORK + SHELTER hand warmers. That's what happens when you make one a day and stack them up in three pairs of 44 grams each.
 I also love how they fit. My gift drawer is filling up!
 I brought out my sweaters as the temperature plummeted. Full of pills, they looked sad and home made. I found the shavers I have bought at the dollar store and went to town, loving my stitches. This is a good tool for my and my hands. Make sure you find ones without lotion!

 We had a family wedding last weekend. My house was full and it felt like Christmas. Our driveway and the next door neighbours (who let us use it while they were away) were full of pick up trucks. There was a sliced ham and buns on the table and people came and went before, between and after.
Emily wore one of the dresses I made and I wore the other. D wore his family tartan and piped in the bride.
 One of my favourite nephews, Morry, eldest son of my cowboy sister, Julie. When he was born, I was still on the farm next door and spent much of my time helping mind him.
 He married a class mate of many years ago and is adopting her two children. They are happy.
 My Paw is super. Tall and quiet. He just retired from driving gravel truck. But he is still picking up shifts. He married my mom when I was 13 and adopted Julie and I, helped raise two teenage girls on a farm and ended up with 9 grandsons, 2 granddaughters and 3 great grand sons.
 The sun came out during the service and covered the Cultus Lake church grounds with dappled light.
And this is one of my favourite babies ever, one of my great nephews.. He is always happy and friendly. His mom is really having a good time. I love babies!
There has been knitting, but with work and cleaning house and cooking and cleaning house again, I haven't had as much time.
I have started a run/walk program in the field behind our house. I started going around the local soccer fields because I wanted soft surfaces and didn't want to time myself, but they made a gravel path around the field and I can run/walk in privacy (with the big black dog). I am amazed that I am enjoying it. I blame Dr. Gemma of the Cogknitive Podcast and the fact that I am progressing really slowly. If I don't over do it, there are lots of other things I like to do.