Okay, so maybe it was broken with some sparkly yarn to make hats, and this as well:

Berroco CottonThe plan for those lovelies is a 3 colour Work + Shelter pullover, a summer version.  I am going to get this started this weekend, I hope it turns out as nice as I picture it.  There is one outstanding 3 colour version, and some duds, so fingers crossed I picked colours well.  The pink is going at the top, dark blue at the bottom, the middle colour is a silver/blue.

My yarn diet was a good success, I started close to 51, 000 yards, and am now under 43,000 yards.  My goal is now to get and stay under 40,000 yards by year end.  I wasn’t sure what I was going to find at the Olds Fibre Fair, as something magnificent always catches me by surprise up there and I buy more than I had thought I would.  My lovely husband trained my daughter to say “Don’t buy too much yarn Mummy”, which she said unexpectedly as we left the car to head into the venue.  She is hilarious that kid.

Bag O YarnThat is my bag, plus a lovely bowl I bought this year, as I already have so many mugs.  Spring Harvest Farm mohair goat, Dragonfly sock yarn, the Fibre Imp sock yarn (bright yellow, hard to see in this photo) and grey, teal, green and purple for a sweater.  All yummy yummy.  And I managed to get all this in the half hour Fia let me shop.  And by let me shop I mean as she GALLOPED around the venue.  Thank goodness fibre people are so nice in helping me locate that kid, she managed to get around the gym twice, GALLOPING, and yelling GALLOP! GALLOP! as she went.  I cup of apple juice people.  Only 1 cup does this to my child.  Fia also had a good time watching women weave and men and women spin.  She was mesmerized by a spinning wheel and almost seemed to fall into a trance, not moving for like 30 seconds.  That had to be a record of some sort.

Mr. J was not too happy when I announced that our theme for the first quarter of this year was “Austerity”.  He had his heart set on a new notepad something or other that I may be of the opinion he does not really need, but on that we disagree.  His contract is up in April, and while it may be renewed, the planner in me wants to be sure that we are covered if it does not, and that means building up the rainy day fund.  A normal healthy bank account has at least six months saved up to cover the monthly burn rate after EI payments, and I’d like him to get at least to the three month point before buying frivolous/necessary (depending on your point of view) items.  As for me, I need to save up as well.  My VW Golf is now 14 years old, and too small for our family.  This December has been terrible for driving, we have so much snow around that my neighbours have built a bobsled run between their houses, and the ruts in our road are over 2 feet deep.  The VW has not been out of the garage in a few weeks now.  I had thought I would get another commuter car, but this last month is making me wonder if a 4-wheel drive vehicle is a necessary item around here.  Plus let’s just say that I’d like to take another year off work if possible.

The Age of Austerity has extended to the stash.  The good news to report is that I knit well over 13,000 yards last year, and have many lovely items to show for it.  My goal was to get my January 2013 stash down to under 40 000 yards (I think I started at around 47, 500 yards) and I did that with having close to 37 000 yards left.  But then November and December happened, with lots of Black Friday sales, the Boxing Day sales, and my LYS bringing in lotsa Mad Tosh.  And the biggest falling down for me was a local store closing down and offering 30% off on everything.  Around 5000 yards came home with me from there, three sweaters worth and a big shawl.  It is wonderful stuff, and I got it at a great price, but I have a lot of knitting to do!!  The 2014 starting stash number is:(gulp) 50 860 yards.  That means I have committed to not buying yarn until June 1, and maybe longer.  The fibre festival I like to go to in June may not even be open on the weekend anymore, so I won’t be able to get up there and indulge.  Lots and lots of good knitting to be done this year, I am looking forward to it!

Rainy Winnipeg 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

Sweet Georgia Sock Yarn!

Olds HaulEvery 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.

Love MugThis 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.

Fia pulling up the plants in Olds

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.

My New Rasta Obsession

March 18, 2013

RastaIt took me 3 months, but I finally got over to the local store that had a stock of every colour of Rasta, which I’ve been admiring from afar.  It took me a long, long time to settle on these two beauties, and I truly did want one of almost every colour.  These skeins are addictive, so pretty, such little yardage, and so quick to knit something useful.  I’ve got the Drop-Stitch Cowl and Wham Bam Thank-you Lamb cowl planned.  And about 10 other things…

It has gotten cold, snowy, and miserable here again.  Driving home tonight the snow was going sideways, visibility was low.  Yuck, yuck.  I really hate driving to work, it can ruin a lovely snowstorm to have to drive through dangerous conditions to get to where you need to be.  Spring is coming soon, in about 2-3 months that is.  I’m currently ignoring friends posting photos from Moab.  Mr. J has a new job, which means a trip to Moab is off the table AGAIN until the fall.  Three years of not going, I really miss that place.  I mean, I try and eat huevos rancheros with chile verde sauce at other places, but it is just not as good you know?  North of the border it is downright mediocre.  Poor spoiled me, I know!  Drive safe out there ya’ll, spring will be here in a couple of months.  Make a cowl, feel better.

I’m Forty!

March 4, 2013

Birthday YarnIt is true, I’m officially in my forties!  I feel forty, I think I look forty, and I don’t mind being forty, it feels like it fits.  We celebrated by heading to the mountains this weekend, and enjoying good family time at a resort with a most awesome family pool complex.  Fia had so much fun playing in the toddler pool, the big pool, and the indoor/outdoor hot tub.  Mr. J arrived on Saturday just before lunch from his business trip, and Fia celebrated some more with a 3 hour nap.  Therefore I got to head over to Knit and Caboodle in Canmore and bought some Birthday Yarn!  It is Freia Ombre yarn in the Moab colourway.  It is so pretty I may never knit with it, just keep it like this forever to look at.  What a great store by the way, I can’t believe I never made an effort to find it before.  An excellent selection of yarn you want to see, with large stock of some very desireable brands, and some very pretty locally dyed items.  I was also impressed by the large selection of accessories, they had a lot of fun stuff.  I was sorely tempted by some Sweet Georgia yarn, but restrained to just one perfect skein.

I don’t remember what I did for my tenth birthday, or my twentieth other than I was in University at the time.  For my thirtieth I had wanted to go to Bali, but just went to New Hampshire instead to ski.  My current flame and I went skating during a massive snowstorm, by the end we were skating through a foot of snow, I remember it being so beautiful.  I thought for sure I would go to Bali for my fortieth.

Here I am, and I’m not in Bali.  The truth be told, I don’t really want to go to Bali right now, I’ve already been.  One day I’ll go back, but right now a trip to the mountains, and watching my little girl have so much fun was the best time I can think of.  I am truly the luckiest girl in the world, as everything I had wanted at thirty is now mine.  A family, a wonderful husband, a beautiful daughter, these were my hearts desires at thirty.  Back then this seemed like a possibily unobtainable dream, but one I dreamed anyhow.  Dreams should be dreamt, even when you don’t know if they will come true.

I wonder what I will be like at fifty or even sixty now.  I’ve been picturing myself working at sixty, and wondering what that will look like, and what I’ll be doing.  As a result I’ve been doing a lot of thinking about career paths, and where I would like to be, and how I should try and get there.  What are my dreams for myself when I’m fifty or sixty?  Seventy?  I have a better idea what I would like to do at seventy, when I will be retired for sure.  A man tried to get me to come work for him this summer and asked me what my career plan was, what I wanted to do.  I’m not quite sure, but starting to think about it is a good step, deciding where you want to be, and then figuring out how to get there.  I am also lucky in that I have a number of different paths I can take, which is a benefit of a good education and resume that I have behind me.

So Happy Birthday to me, the luckiest girl in the world!

I have to admit, I had been looking forward to this for awhile.  When I added all the stash in that I hadn’t done yet, what was my new total going to be?  My goal last year had been to go from the 47,000 yards in my stash tally to below 40,000 yards.  I was close, if you consider being over 1400 yds high close, plus a bunch of new yarn that hadn’t been accounted for yet.  My yardage knit for the year was calculated to be 6500 yds, but that didn’t count anything that I had purchased during 2012, and knit immediately.  I will give myself props for having knit a lot of what I bought last year immediately.

I had a blast during one nap time photographing the new yarn, the old yarn that still didn’t have photos, and adding it all into my stash.  I then exported it all to Excel once all was accounted for, and waited with baited breath for the new tally.  Would I be higher than last years starting point?

47 825 yards.

Over last years by a tiny amount!  Yeah, not bad at all compared to the huge numbers I had worried about.  Then I few days later I realized there was going to be a charity sale in the near future who would like donations of yarn, and there were a few items that I really, really, really didn’t want to knit with.  Partial skeins with enough yardage left to make something decent, but my first project with then had sucked my will to keep knitting it just to finish it up.  Once I took those out:

46 975 yards!

Lower, yeah!!  My goal remains to get the stash number below 40 000 yards.

I did make it out to a Boxing Day Sale, but not my regular place, I went over to Gina Brown’s instead.  I was doing okay and hadn’t seen anything I had to have until this:

CollinetteI have a weakness for the Colinette colourway that is a grey base with multiple colours running through it.  In other confessions, another woman had started to pick one of these up, and I suddenly grabbed eight skeins before I could stop myself!  Don’t worry there were a few left for her!  I also picked up a nice chunky ball of Noro that will make a nice quick hat, some needles, and high tailed it out of there!  I timed it well with no wait to pay, a few minutes later the line was snaking around the store.

I have had to admit to myself that I have way too much sweater quantity yarn, and it is all things that I really want to make.  As much as I would like to buy some more yarn to make some more sweaters, I really, really, need to make what I have already.  It is with a sad heart that I find myself determined not to buy more yarn until I make a few of these sweaters that I really, really want.  Good-bye lovely yarn stores, I promise to knit fast and see you soon!

SSS-Single Skein September

August 30, 2011

 Anyone else out there getting ready for single skein September?  This is when you make projects that only require one skein to complete, a good opportunity to use up some lonely yarn in your stash.  Not that my yarn is lonely, it has plenty to keep it company!  I was able to fill a little box with some likely candidates to focus on, and I intend to start on Thursday and cast on for some little projects.  I’m not saying I’ll finish everything in this whole box, that would be madness, and very difficult, but we’ll see how I do.  I’m planning at least two baby sweaters, a cowl, two hats, and a something or other.  To be determined.  The exact hats are to be determined as well, the pattern hunt is continuing!  Now that the yarn is out, I’m itching to start, but I need to wait until Thursday! Oooh, angora, put that down for another two days!

SSS is inspired by the Stash and Burn podcast, and is organized in their group on Ravelry.  I’m still on my self imposed yarn diet, and I’ve only “fallen off the sheep” twice this year, buying yarn I hadn’t planned on to make sweaters for Althea.  I knew this year would be a lean one money-wise, and therefore had planned to knit from stash most of the year.  I am really, really, looking forward to the Boxing Day sale at Pudding, where I will be ending my yarn diet with a vengence!  I’m hoping to get the stash below 40,000 yards by the end of the year, and I only have approximately 4500 yards to go, and four months to do it in.  Go me go!

Saskatchewan Adventures

November 28, 2010

 A big road trip like my boss and I made last week is always an adventure, but this week the adventure was more of the snowy, icy, I sure hope we don’t end up in the ditch like that guy adventure.  The good news however is that we drove around safely, made it to all of our meetings (mostly) on time, and my boss was happy with all the progress we made.  I’m also pretty sure I didn’t manage to annoy him, or piss him off too badly which is good considering the hours in the car together, and the four business meetings a day we participated in. 

It snowed every day, and the temperatures were down close to -20 oC until it warmed up on Friday.  Christmas is in the air however, and seeing all the old fashioned decorations up already and covered in snow made it easier to believe.

On Thursday we finished our business meetings, had a late lunch/dinner, and my boss made the decision that we could stay in Saskatoon for the evening, heading back to Calgary the next day.  I was happy about this as driving late into the night, through the new snow that was falling, plus the icy conditions would have made for a very tiring drive.  But since we were done so early, and since we were so close(everything in Saskatoon is relatively close since it’s a small place) to the yarn store, could we perhaps stop by for a quick visit?  It worked, and off we went to find the store which is tucked into an older Saskatoon neighbourhood.  I didn’t have a huge urge to visit the yarn store in Regina, but the Wool Emporium is special. 

 They have lots of “regular” yarn and products, but they have special stuff, local stuff that you can only find here from the small farms that dot Saskatchewan and Alberta.  Alpaca yarn so black that you can see blue in it, greys, brown so deep, brown almost orange in tone, and so many variations thereupon.  My promise to my boss of “just ten minutes” made me a focused shopper, and this cream/brown blend was irresistible.  I can’t find a link to Jubilee Alpaca, which seems to be a local company that consolidates fibre from various farms into their yarn.  It doesn’t seem to be one specific farm.  But since the shipment was recent, I had a huge variety to choose from.  It was hard, very hard.  This creamy colour is going to  make a beautiful sweater, soft and warm, and neutral enough to match many outfits.  I’m actually considering remaking one of my sweaters that my Grandmother made, which I wear all the time.  Its getting a bit ratty, but its the perfect length, fit, colour, and design.  We went back to our hotel, I was high on yarn fumes, and I merrily knit away the evening!

Big Merino Candy

October 12, 2010

Big Merino from Fleece Artist, which lately has proven irresistible.  Huge gauge, easy and quick to knit up, lovely colours, and a low price.  How could I leave without just one or two (or four from the last trip to my LYS to get needles, I didn’t find the needles, but I found the candy!). 

So far I’ve found this hat pattern from Knitty to try out, with plans of using the greens for a big thick chunky scarf.  I’m hoping the blue and pink turn into Christmas presents, that is if I can bear to part with them.