Our first strawberryLast year we finally, finally got a garden in.  It only took about three years.  We had some strawberries, which were promptly eaten before I could even wash them, and didn’t get to try any of course.  We planted pumpkins, zucchini, cucumbers, and four tomato plants.  Everything was blooming, everything was doing so well.  We had baby cucumbers, some zucchini that would so close to being ready to pick, and flowers on the pumpkin plant.  Then this happened:

hail damage in garden 2A hail storm in July, in three minutes almost everything as destroyed.  We ate two zucchinis pock marked with holes, but nothing else was salvageable.  The garden recovered, and we thought we may get something else growing, more pumpkin flowers were observed, but then it snowed on Sept 6.  And that was the end of our garden.  We are trying again this year.

Bubblemania scarf completeI am getting behind on posting about my Canada KAL projects!  Two more are now complete.   I finished up Bubblemania just before the deadline, and even won the prize for the month.  Not bad!  Plus I really like this scarf, pink is a good neutral for me I like wearing pink and grey.  It helps that one of my favorite pair of shoes to wear is also pink and grey.  I am wearing this scarf once or twice a week now, the bit of cashmere is enough to make it very soft.  I bought the yarn in Ontario years ago at a store in the Beach.  It is not the store my Grandmother used to knit for, that one is closed, but it is close to it.  Like so many things I had a pattern in mind, but the yarn wasn’t right for it in the end, and sat in stash for years until being dragged to light by the KAL.  Very glad it is now a useful garment!

Quebec CowlThis angora/qiviut yarn from Cottage Craft Angora in Quebec is another stash yarn that I was always wanting to knit up, but never got around to.  I picked a pattern from Glenna C. (an Ontario designer no less, now I’m mixing provinces!!) as I wanted something lacey but with just a little bit of simple lace.  This is perfect, very warm, and delicate.  The yarn is unbelievable in how soft and warm it is, bunnies and musk oxen playing nicely together.  I have some more merino/qiviut that also needs knitting up.  I’m really happy with both these projects.

The first photo was taken in Drumheller, a town which has dinosaurs roaming free in its parks and streets.  We went there for my birthday weekend this year.  We had a lot of fun, and enjoyed the dinosaur museum immensely.  We did not enjoy the hockey team parents partying until 2 am each night.  I actually heard their own children asking them to be quiet!  Aside from that Fia and I did some very good dinosaur impressions around the huge t-rex bones before many other people arrived.

Sick Day WIP Wednesday

March 25, 2015

Rainbow sweater missing armIt has been a little while since I have put a post together, as life has taken up too much time lately.  It can be so difficult to find a few minutes of quiet to deal with photos and the internet.  I think I am also caught up in my monthly project deadline, and don’t have time for anything else.  When one has about 1 hour of free time a day, it is hard to use it for other things than knitting away on a project!  I am happy to say my Quebec project for March is complete, and I have a few extra days to devote to other WIP before I start a New Brunswick project.  I do not know yet what I will make for New Brunswick, I hope inspiration will strike soon.  Alas my beautiful rainbow sweater is at a standstill due to running out of yarn.  I have ordered more, and am waiting for it.  I seem to have plenty of the rainbow yarn left over, and I am working on a wee plan for it, as Fia actually asked if this sweater was for her.  If she asks, I should probably make her a rainbow sweater shouldn’t I?

V-neck sweaterAfter much hemming and hawing as to which sweater would come next in the production line, Firth, a custom fit V-neck pullover won.  I love, love this Western Sky yarn, and a simple pattern was needed to show it off.  As there was a lack of simple V-neck patterns already complete, I decided to try Custom Fit and see how it worked.  The idea is you put in your measurements, information from your swatch, and it make a custom pattern for you.

I was home sick today, which is why I was able to get started on Firth.  I have a sore throat, and sound like a rusty old crow.  My boss actually called me and made me call a customer.  I wasn’t too happy about that, as I was hoping for another nap, and the customer was not happy either to be talking to an old rusty crow.  He was getting very indignant on my behalf that I had to work when I sounded so terrible.  I believe he is now very upset at my boss, and I felt a lot better after talking to him.  It is nice when complete strangers have your back.

WIP: My Ontario Project

February 24, 2015

Bubblemania scarfThe month of February is dedicated to Ontario-which is a province with so much to choose from.  Many, many yarns are made in Ontario, and many designers live and work there.  Many good, good designers.  My project this month is using yarn I bought in Toronto a few years ago from a company named Painted Fleece, and is a blend of wool, cashmere and nylon.  This could have been a pair of socks, but I decided to make a scarf.  The pattern is named “Bubblemania” and I’ve admired it for a few months.  I wanted something lacy, but not complicated as I have the attention span of a gnat at night.  And the energy of a hibernating bear.  I added a ruffle to the end just to finish it off, the cast on edge looked a little bit plain.  The goal is of course to have this finished by the end of the month, and as I have 24 grams to go, this should be possible.  I will stop knitting when I have just under 10 grams so that I have enough for the ruffle.  I have noticed that the stitch pattern of Bubblemania has shown up in a sweater pattern lately, which I may consider making.  It has a very cute vintage look to it.

Here in Calgary we are having weather guilt; while the rest of the east coast is suffering massive snow storms and cold weather, we are riding our bikes outside, and plenty of people are venturing outside not only without parkas but in shorts!  It has been that warm.  How strange is it that Calgary is the tropical capital of Canada?

Twirly SkirtLast year during the Olympics I was so in love with all the rainbow projects.  I was on a yarn diet at the time, and could not indulge in any goodies, just ogle them.  This February it is all rainbows, all the time.  First up is a Twirly Girl skirt for Fia.  She hasn’t liked any of the sweaters I have made her recently, so I thought I would try a skirt, and she loves to twirl.  Can you tell what her favorite colour is by the little hand in the photo?  Green, always first, then blue, then every other colour.  This project is almost 3 stripes in, and is a nice mindless project, so far I have a blue, yellow and green stripe.

Rainbow yarnI was waiting/lurking last year to see if Rain City yarn in Vancouver would have any sales, and Cyber Monday they did!  I swooped in and got one of their rainbow DK packages, with eight different 50g balls.  I am making a Better Breton with the yarn, and so far it is so, so, so pretty and addictive.

Rainbow SweaterI am down to the middle of the waist almost, and racing to get to the next colour.  Next up will be pink, then orange, then red, then teal!  Whoppee!  The arms will have matching stripes.  Fia really likes this one, and is disappointed it is not for her.  I think I will have enough of the rainbow balls to make her a similar sweater, but not sure about the grey.  It will be easy to substitute in another dk weight yarn.  I can see more orders to Rain City Yarn in my future, I’ve seen some gorgeous designs online using their bright colours that I would like to make.

FO: Rhizome Hat

February 2, 2015

Rhizome hat finishedThe Rhizome hat was designed by Winnipeg designer Christina Harris, this was my Manitoba project.  This used almost exactly one ball of Patons Classic wool that I had hanging around.  I do really enjoy that in this KAL I am using up yarn that I have wanted to get to for a long time, and am creating an impressive pile of projects as I do.  This hat has a double brim that I have sewn under to give a nice thick edge over the ears.  I am planning on felting the brim down slightly so that it is very, very tight to my ears to keep those winter winds out.  A very, very warm hat.  I am considering whether it needs a fur pom-pom on top, or a pom-pom in a contracting colour since I have no more of this ball left.

It has been warm in Calgary, even though it recently dipped back down again.  It has been so strange to watch the rest of the country suffer through cold and snow as we leave our parkas behind for some nice sunny days.  Normally it is us suffering the cold!  In that respect, January was a wonderful month, with hardly any bad driving days to work.  In the back of our minds though we knew winter wasn’t done with us yet, that we still had a few more months to go before winter spit us out into spring.  This year I have something big to look forward to – after four long years we are heading down to Moab Utah again.  I cannot wait, I cannot wait.

FO: Atelier Cardigan

January 16, 2015

Atelier SweaterI  finished my Atelier cardigan last year, and finally got photos of it, and finally got around to showing you.  This is an outfit I wore to a business lunch before Xmas, which I really like.  The dress is from Target, and a good example of why I am so sad they are leaving Canada, it is a great dress, fits well, has full coverage, and looks like it costs a lot more than I paid.  But I digress.  Overall I do like the cardigan, but the fronts look awkward to me, and I have to keep pulling it closed.  It would probably look better hanging more fully open, but I’m cold all the time.  I can’t wear this sweater unless we have a good Chinook in Calgary.  This is my first MadTosh yarn, in the Pashmina base, in such a beautiful colour.

Today I had the privilege of visiting a slaughterhouse south of Calgary.  Yucky, yuck yuck.  I am so glad I don’t eat beef, and haven’t for many, many, many years now.  It was stinky, dirty, and nasty.  Of course Mr. J just said I smelled like a Slim Jim, which he liked, but I headed to the shower as soon as I got home.  Even slaughterhouses need clean water it would seem for their boilers, which is why we were there.  We saw a piece of leg with bone still it in in the parking lot, stepped on bone, and slipped on fat.  The only good thing is that so much of the animal is used, they have a bone meal, and a fat tallow business.  I much prefer the nice clean meetings downtown these days.

WSKAs always my goal was to be under 40 000 yards by the end of the year, and in this I have failed.  I have not failed as spectacularly as last year, when my New Year Tally was almost 53,000 yards. The total this year, drum roll please, is 45 511 yards!  I should be down under 40 000 yards again in 4 months!  Not too bad.  The stash I bought this year was worth it, this lovely set of skeins from Western Sky Knits was scored as well as a rainbow skein set from Rain City Knits as their Cyber Monday sale.

Quebec YarnI have a number new sweaters that I am itching to get too, as well as some I need to get knitted up asap.  I have so much good knitting planned for this year, I cannot wait to get at it!

Happy New Year to Everyone, and may you have fun rolling around in the stash as it gets tossed for the annual tallying!

I don’t plan to go on any diets this year, but I do plan on following some simple guidelines.  I will be buying online, but only from a few Canadian retailers, with the dollar the way it is, and shipping, plus duties at times it is too expensive to buy from US sites.  We hope to be visiting Utah in March, and stashing up on items that are expensive in Canada, keeping in mind the lower dollar, will be in order.  My knitting group is already super excited about Olds in June, so we’re looking forward to what lovelies we will discover there.  The photo above was a random purchase from Olds, it is just labeled “Quebec Yarn”, 100% laine, but I couldn’t resist the teal, purple, green combination, and bought all the grey as a background colour.   What an exciting year I have coming up!

FO’s to Finish the Year

December 31, 2014

It feels like 2014 has been a year of waiting for things to happen that didn’t happen, preparing for events that didn’t come to pass, and goals not achieved as they were out of my power to achieve.  Life has been on hold waiting, decisions have been in suspension until the decision to give up was made.  The decision to give up has not been made, hope springs eternal, even in the face of facts as time.

I have not cleaned the house, I have not finished all my projects, I have not prepared a grand meal or party to welcome the New Year.  I am surviving a sinus/eye/throat/lung infection however, which sometimes is all one can do, plus looking after a daughter and family.  Cooking and cleaning and childcare do not go on hold just because a Mummy is sick.

Fibronerdy shawlI have finished up my December project, featuring a Saskatchewan designer Dollybird Workshop.  I even bought the black Malabrigio lace in Regina years ago.  Glad to have almost 1000 yards out of my stash, and a new warm scarf.  The benefits of this scarf involve long, long sides to wrap around your neck, and a deep enough front to cover up cold noses and chins.

Pointelle SocksAnd a pair of socks!  Yeah me!  This was the oldest yarn on my list, and a beautiful pair of Cookie A socks, Pointelle.  This is BFL yarn from Wooly Wonka, a lovely blend of green and blue colours.  This makes two pairs of socks for the year, which means I reached my goal!

I am over my goal of being under 40 000 yards of stash AGAIN this year, but not as badly as last year.  I will update the stash and report tomorrow!

Knitting for my Bebe

December 13, 2014

Dragon HoodDragon Hood from sideOr rather, knitting completed and rejected by my baby.  I did have one success this year, her “rainbow” hat as she calls it, and she still does like her sparkly hat from last year.  I was inspired to make these dinosaur hoods, as they are so adorable, and Fia does love dinosaurs, especially the MEAT eating ones.  This is the toddler size, and it is small so I have given it away.  I am re-making the pattern in the child size, as it seems I no longer have a toddler but a child.  Which shouldn’t come as a surprise with how fast she runs, no toddling around here.  This is Lion Brand Thick and quick, and I have to admit a fondness for it even though it is acrylic.  The hoods are fun and quick to make.  The same designer has a bear hood that is very popular at the moment that I may attempt next.  I don’t think Fia will wear that, so I may just be making it to give away.

I also made her what I would consider to be a very cool skeleton vest, which she has refused even to try on.  Sigh.  I am torn between keeping this to see if she will wear it in the future, and just giving it away to some deserving child.  Such a cool pattern, it is a free Bernat pattern.  Normally I would be trying to make Fia something for Christmas and her birthday, but this year I am throwing in the towel.  I will wait to make her things when she can ask for them first, which will prevent me from making things she never even puts on.  Of course there is a skirt pattern that looks very cute, and she may like that, or a poncho?  I was thinking of getting her to pick the yarn.  She has interesting tastes, gravitating towards blue, black and white.  Note the shirt she is wearing in the dinosaur photos, grey, and she loves that one.

The advent calendar was a hit, but too much of a hit.  She has been waking up every day at 4:45 am.  I have been exhausted all week from the early wake-up time.  I am really looking forward to the little break over Christmas, I feel like I get really run down this time of year.  So tired.  Later gators.

Skeleton vest

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