December 11, 2013
Hello! I haven’t had a WIP for a little while, but I’ve been a busy beaver. At left is a photo of the navy blue vest I am knitting for my 6′ 7″ husband. It is navy blue, 3.75 mm needles, zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz. Oh sorry, I must have dropped off there. This. Vest. Is. So. Boring. Navy. Blue. 3.75 mm Needles. 19 inches to the underarm, 11 inches to the top of the shoulder. That is what I knit for the front and back for myself. I have found myself wondering why I married such a tall guy, and then I remind myself what a good, honest, wonderful man he is and I keep knitting on. And on. And on. And poke my eye out. And on. And oh my goodness on. The unbelievable thing is that I almost have finished the back of this thing. Once I get to the front there will be some argyle diamonds to liven it up a little bit. For another 30 inches, but Diamonds! Yahoo. I really don’t think this can be done in time for Christmas, but perhaps sometime after Christmas. I am only human, and he is very tall after all. I have plans to make Fia a sock horse for Christmas, and I’m starting her piggies which I plan to give her for her birthday.
There will be 4 piggies in total, this is one of the baby piggies. The Mummy is pink, the other babies are teal and green. Mummy pig got around big time! In other exciting news, I have sent Christmas cards out (yes in the mail box even ) before Christmas. Not the end of January, before Christmas. Please don’t all fall over at once. I may also be done my Christmas shopping, most of which was for my in-laws. I can’t believe it either! Cheerio!
December 2, 2013
The temperatures are dropping significantly this week, and we are in the midst of our first blizzard. Thankfully we got the snow tires on the truck last week. The truck handles very well in the snow, but it was still 1.5 hours to work in the morning, and 2 hours home in the evening. The boss was supposed to let us to home early, but he got all caught up in making us work and I guess he forgot. I’m a bit steamed about it, and days like this with stressful drives back and forth across the city make me want to look for a new job. Last spring I finally got two skeins of Rasta wool, after which I had been lusting for a long time. I would like one in almost every colourway, but I settled on these two. I made a drop-stitch cowl, but didn’t like how it fit, too loose to keep out the cold around my always cold neck and chin. I found this pattern at left, the “Red Rasta Cowl” and it is perfect for fitting up nicely over the neck, chin and nose area. I think the simple rib and moss stitch really show off the colour of the yarn nicely. This is just the ticket for the -20 oC we’re expecting this week.
My purple yarn I made into a “Wham Bam Thank-you Lamb” cowl, which sits nicely under the chin. Again the simple garter stitch shows off the colourway nicely, and I get a nice little necklace of warm around my neck. I wore this this morning and it was perfect. I am enjoying cowls more than scarves these day with my coats, something that tucks inside the high collar rather than going around outside it is warmer with our cold climate and razor sharp winds.
I sure hope the blizzard is over by the morning, as I have to drive across the city again to work. Plus our new secretary was in the hospital this weekend with a severe flu, so you just know we all caught that last Friday. Joy, Joy, Joy.
November 28, 2013
Slowly, slowly, working out from behind a few trips, multiple illnesses of the family, and the pressures of life. I hope to tell you about the trips and not the illnesses, as who wants to hear about this. The other day I was thinking “when it takes me over five minutes to tell someone all the things going on with us, it is not good”, but the colds, flus, bumps on the head etc, are slowly going away and we are gearing up for a fun holiday season. Somewhere along the way I finished my cowl neck vest pictures at left, which I made from MadTosh Vintage in the colour Night Bloom. I really like having a non green/blue sweater to wear! I need to make more purple/pink items as they look nice on my pasty skin. This vest took a lot of buttons, which meant a few trips back to Fabricland to buy enough. There is still one missing, but it is under the cowl neck fold so you can’t see it. It needed a lot of buttons however so that the front band wouldn’t gape, it sits nicely now. I really love the pockets, I never want to make a sweater without pockets again! I had to change from the garter stitch edging to the ribbing due to rolling, which would not have been a problem if I had stuck to the single ply yarn used in the original. Multiple yarn rolls badly if you try and do a garter stitch edge, I am not sure of this, as this is my second failure with that. I also learned how to remove an edging and knit “backwards” when I had to remove the garter stitch edging at the top of the cowl neck, essentially the start of the sweater as it was top down. I took out the edging, picked up stitches and knit back the ribbing, you can’t even tell it wasn’t done the normal way. Good skill learning Anne!! I really like how this has turned out, even though I am once again sure that raglan sleeves just aren’t for me. The cowl neck makes a nice little heat cloud around my neck and chin, which I love. More FO’s to follow soon, barring more illness/work/travel/unknown.
October 16, 2013
The early bed time is not mine, it is Fia’s! Lately she has been asleep by 8 pm, as opposed to during the summer when she was up until 9 pm or later. A good side effect of the early dark nights now! She is also falling asleep quickly, almost as if she finally understands this is the time to sleep, boom! Five minutes later. I have been finishing up stuff all summer, especially the month of September, and I have photos for some, and need to take some more photos! This little sweater is based on a free Lion Brand basic sweater pattern, and was a nice way to use up extra Cascade Pacific. I can recommend this yarn, especially for gift items. It is soft, superwash, and comes in a lot of nice colours. The one downfall of this pattern is that it is way to wide for my skinny girl, but it fits her none the less.
The little lady bug buttons were bought of all places at the Cold Lake Wal-Mart. I had to go there to buy new needles for one that had broken in my purse, which I didn’t discover until we started the 2 hour drive from Lloydminster to Cold Lake. Other than Wal-Mart there isn’t much selection in that town. I convinced my boss we needed snacks for the long day, as we didn’t know how long we would be working. I have a bit more experience working I the middle of nowhere than he does, and since my chocolate melt-down in Peace River I like to be prepared. The meltdown involved me realizing there was no chocolate within 1 hour of me, and no idea how long we would be working that night. I freaked the freak out, and by the next day there were chocolate bars all around. Also: bears. Serious stuff yo. I think the ladybugs add a nice little detail to the cute sweater, and they are very appreciated by the two year old. And next time you see my two year old, ask her how old she is. She says “six” every single time. I can’t convince her otherwise, it is very amusing. Also: good thing about my boss is he hasn’t figured out yet when I am just trying to get him to do something so that I can visit a yarn store, or get knitting tools. Unlike a certain husband.
October 2, 2013
I have finally, finally pulled out and starting knitting some of the MadTosh I have squirrelled away in the basement! This it some lovely Vintage in the colourway Night Bloom, which is a good change from my normal blue/green choices. I am knitting a pattern called the “Cowl Neck Vest”. I wanted to make it as soon as I saw it as it looked so very, very warm. Picture me sitting on the couch in the winter with the 13″ cowl pulled up to my eyes, barely able to see out, knitting away. I am going to have the warmest chin/nose combination in Calgary! This photo was taken before the weekend, I am almost down to the bottom of the yoke now. Once I separate off the sleeves I will be in good shape! I may even finish this after the end of next weekend! Which is good as I have another sweater ready and waiting in the queue, which should be even warmer and woollier!! In summary: I love being warm in the cold, cold winter.
October 1, 2013
If you can believe it, I knit the little tunic Fia is wearing (Ava’s Tunic is the pattern name) in just over a week. We had a wedding to go to, but as per normal I didn’t get started until just the weekend before, and then I had to reknit the top portion of the tunic 3 times due to mistakes (on my part, not the pattern). I was busy sewing ends in on the way to the wedding! I realize most of this is for me, and Fia doesn’t care much, not when there are DOGS around to pat, but I thought she looked ADORABLE. I am also exceedingly pleased with my colour choices. This Cascade primo cotton, which has incredible choice of colours, I could have gone with greens, purples, or these turquoise/blue/pink that I did. I had all the blues pulled out and was busy trying to decide which 4 or 5 I liked, when I suddenly pulled out the pink, and thought that really amped the tunic up. The colours are a grey/blue, turquoise, a dark turquoise, and the pink. I love it, and maybe one day I will get around to blocking it.
I am very far behind on showing my FO’s, along with what I’m working on. The last three weekends I have had to work, which has cut into my spare time for doing fun things like writing on this blog. Knitting is all about survival, I need it to wind down after a stressful day/week. Blogging requires more than drooling on the couch, therefore I haven’t been feeling up to it. I do miss it and enjoy it, and I have so many stories to tell you. Fall is in full swing here in Calgary, and I really did think it was going to snow last Sunday. We have all our woollies pulled out, and I’m regularly wearing the sweater/scarf/hat/mitten outfit to work in the morning now. I miss summer, it is over too soon!!
August 12, 2013
I am busy trying to finish up projects! Yup, no more casting on until September 1, at which point I hope to be done with summer projects, and working on fall/winter sweaters!! I have been busy as you can see at left working through some stash that I had earmarked for baby gift items, plus a sweater for Fia, the large one in the background. All of them need buttons sewn on, so still WIP, no finished yet. On top is my latest baby gift item, which is also the oldest stash I have on my list. What a double win eh? The gift box is going to be full, so all my friends and acquaintances can go ahead and have babies now, I’m ready. A nice assortment of boy/girl items even. Once I’m done the blue sweater I will work on some sock yarn toys I’ve been meaning to make for ages for some birthday presents for some friends kids that are coming up. I am doing really well using up old stash, go me!!
This project, Pause by Norah Gaughan was an impulse buy, but I did cast on right away. I love almost everything in this booklet, and am happy I decided to make something right away. I’d like to make 3 or 4 other projects from this book. Grab a copy if you can, these things go out of print. I’m using the yarn called for, it is a muted gold, and slight sparkly. I have finished the front and have started the back. I should get to wear it a day or two before the snow flies!!
I am finishing up my bobble sweater, it is my upstairs project for when I’m waiting for Fia to go to sleep. I am almost on the sleeves, which I will have to reverse and make top down. I don’t know how long they are going to be before I run out of yarn. Should be an adventure. I hope you are getting things finished up to get working on those fall sweaters!!!
August 7, 2013
I really do enjoy the Stampede, and Fia does as well. My hubby went for the first time in years, and he enjoyed himself! I was asked by an American recently if it was worth it to come up to see the Stampede, and after my enthusiastic endorsement he commented that I lit up and really came alive when describing all the fun things to do. We keep it simple, and with the little miss’s nap schedule we only stayed until just after lunch. Which worked out well as a massive thunderstorm hit while we were all asleep in bed! Some random favorites:
-Fia loved the train ride on the LRT. Every time we came to a stop she asked for “more” and once the train took off again she was so excited. Our trip had around 10 stop, which was very, very exciting.
-The horses of course. Fia patted big ones, little ones, medium ones, and all the in between ones.
-Miniature donkeys – patted those too!
-Cows – also patted.
-Sheep – ditto. We didn’t get over to the pigs, but those would have been patted I’m sure.
-Mini-donuts, tower of potato chips, corn dog, pizza, steak on a bun, mango shakes, all consumed, but mostly by Mr. J. He really enjoyed the fun food, I had a tummy ache after pizza and chips. Fia loved the corn dog, which is good as she will probably only get one of these a year.
-I loved seeing all my friends get ribbons for their knitting. Normally I would spend more time looking at all the art both professional and amateur, but we were on a bit of a time schedule this year.
There is way more to do here, I would have liked to get Fia down to see some traditional native dancing. She would have loved the music. I had hoped to go again, but then poof, it was over! Next year she may be able to sit longer for some shows, she is going to love, love Super Dogs!!
July 6, 2013
I have been doing some super exciting work travel lately, if you consider Winnipeg and Edmonton exciting. Next week I get an all expense paid trip to Cold Lake! I get to go all the good places don’t I? I have never been a huge fan of Winnipeg, but this trip it started to grow on me. I think it was the summer that helped, Winnipeg is full of nice big green trees. I miss the big green trees in Calgary, where I live there are very few big trees. I can’t afford to live in the neighbourhoods with tree lined streets. My house is up on a big, big hill, which meant during the recent horrific, record breaking, terrible floods we were absolutely fine. We didn’t even have our power flick. My brother lives up on the other huge hill in Calgary, and he was just fine as well, one thing my Dad instilled: don’t buy in the lowlands.
I think one reason Winnipeg appealed more on this trip is that my boss and I got away from the downtown and airport regions and explored some of the more interesting neighbourhoods. He likes going to local joints like me, so we had some nice meals. He also loves his dessert and wanted to go to an old fashioned ice cream walk-up place, which was a lot of fun. He ordered a Grog, which was an upside down blueberry sundae in a cup. Unfortunately I haven’t been feeling very well for the last few months, so I just took it easy. We were done early on the last day, and I convinced him to stop by another local yarn store, which was in an old house. This is my favorite type of yarn store; room after room after hallway lined with more and more yarn to explore. Even the driving rain couldn’t dampen my mood! I think I could handle living on this street, all the trees, the old houses which I could actually afford to buy, a little local café, and a beautiful yarn store. I don’t have any intentions of moving, but I did do an MLS check and yup, I could afford to live in this neighbourhood. I took away one little happy souvenir:
Sweet Georgia Sock Yarn!
Every year I look forward to the trip to Olds for their Fibre week. It is such a wonderful opportunity to buy local yarn direct from the seller or farm. Of course Fia comes with me, and we have found enough fun things to do in Olds to make it a great day. But first, the haul! Starting on the left, this is my traditional skein of Peter Rabbit from Fleece Artist. I just love this stuff, and it is a rare find in stores, much less this awesome blue/green colour. I buy one a year from Pam’s Wooly Shoppe! Next up is 4 skeins from Spring Harvest Farms. This is a local farm that raises mohair goats, and all of this yarn is a blend with 30% wool. I managed to get some of this at the Stampede one year, and fell in love with the uber softness of it. I also love, love the dying that the lady who runs the farm does. The purple/white is a good example, such a lovely blend. This will be a hat for me for sure. The solid purple next to it should become a bigger cowl, while the bulky blue will hopefully become a new winter hat for Fia. Next up is a whole pile of yarn I couldn’t resist, especially not after getting “Knitting with Icelandic Wool” out of the library. I have an uncontrollable urge to knit the whole family sweaters from this book, especially Fia, there are so many good kids dresses/sweaters. This lopi is from a farm just south of Bragg Creek, Heidi Woolens. She was unaffected in the recent flooding as the sheep live up in the mountain area. The brown is so dark it looks black, and will make an incredible Ranga. The yarn is grown and spun in Alberta at Custom Woolen Mills.
This year I came home with not one but three mugs from “Heather” who is based just south of Edmonton. My new mug is perfect for my morning espresso, small enough to seem full, and tucks into my hand like it was made for it.
After we were done with the vendor market (I wasn’t done, but my small companion was) we headed out to enjoy the beautiful grounds of Olds College. Fia played in puddles which delighted a few passerbys, attempted to steal this nice plant which we quickly replanted, and had a grand old time running around the lawns. We then went out to lunch where she discovered how cool it is to have ice cubes in your water. Such small things that we take for granted delight this little girl. How wonderful to experience everything with her.