Thursday, November 25, 2010

and more winter

Last Thursday, shortly before leaving for yoga, we had a slight dusting of snow that didn't amount to anything at all.  We joked that this would be it for the winter.  Right?  Well, the snow returned on the weekend causing several problems for my DH who's turn it was to be on the pager.
He got called shortly before 3 a.m. on Saturday morning and was done around 7 a.m.  I wasn't able to sleep so I sat up and knitted myself a hat.  By 6 a.m. I was falling asleep so crawled into my freezing cold bed. 
On Monday I thought I'd be the only person at yoga due to the snow and was pleased to see that 5 other persons came out.  I would have hated to be the only person there although I'm sure that I would have ended up with a customized yoga session just for me.  
On Friday I broke down and purchased an iPhone4.  I was debating putting this purchase off until my contract expired in July 2011 but my old Motorola phone had been dropped so many times that the battery cover didn't fit nicely on the back of the phone unless you lightly twisted the phone.  
Knitting wise all is going well but with the colder weather I keep finding more and more knitting projects to work on.  Then there is Yule and I want to make knitted gifts for hubby and my grandchildren.  
Tomten jacket for my granddaughter and modelled by her big brother.
Naturally I also found a cute shawl pattern to knit for myself and then I stumbled onto a display of pyjama pants at a local fabric store.  I just HAD to buy the pattern along with 3 different lengths of flannel to make myself 3 PAIRS!  Hello!!!!  What in tarnation do I need that many pairs of pyjama bottoms... really?  I've made one pair in size small (too big for me and too short for hubby) and have cut out another pair in xsmall for myself.  The 3rd length of fabric has Betty Boop all over it but I cannot imagine hubby being caught dead (or alive) in a pair of Betty Boop pjs.  

On that note I must sew my jammies, a perfect pastime for this kind of crappy weather. 

Wednesday, November 03, 2010


P and I are grandparents again.  At 3:35 a.m., October 21st, 2010 my daughter gave birth to:
Camryn Riley, 9 lbs. 1 oz. 

I think her big brother is getting used to having a new sibling around.

Speaking of big brother, he was a little lion for Halloween.  Isn't he the cutest lion you've seen?

As far as knitting is concerned, I've been knitting for my grandchildren plus have projects lined up for Christmas.  I want to make something (Hint: they have heels and toes - and are NOT shoes) for hubby as well as a jacket for my grandson.  My grandson has also requested socks and, according to his mom, he'd also like a toque.  
Of course I've found some more things that I'd like to make for me!  Ah, where to find the time. 

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Knitting groups can be hazardous to your wallet

I recently joined a local knitting group that was formed through a Ravelry forum.  The knitters I have met so far are very nice.  The problem is that they have been inspiring me to purchase more yarn and patterns.  Not only that, but the group is a great place for sharing tips and information.  (Plus to prod me to check my blog.  Thanks Shaela!)
Who knew that you could do "Judy Becker's magic cast on" when my usual toe-up socks?  (Thanks Sue).
Of course then I just HAD to purchase more sock yarn to make a pair of socks for my hubby.
Next I had to order yarn for EZ's "100th Anniversary Camp Half-Circle" shawl after seeing another member of the knitting group's version of this.  Of course with a brand new grand-niece plus a granddaughter who is due to make her appearance any day, there has been and still is baby knitting going on.  The items for the grand-niece need to be finished a.s.a.p. since her grandma is heading out to visit her and her parents next week.  The jacket and matching pants I'm making for my granddaughter just need to be sewn up.  The dress I'm knitting for her is a 12 month size.
On top of all that I discovered that I still can spin which led to the purchase of fleece.  In a way I'm pleased that fall is here since summer isn't really conducive to fibre related hobbies plus my knitting tends to get dirty when we backpack/hike during the summer months.
Our grandson is constantly growing.  He is still able to clear out our Tupperware cupboard in record time but is now able to reach the door knob for the hall closet.  It is just a matter of time before he's opening the rest of the doors.  He does know how to slam the kitchen door and he gets quite irate when we open the door to let ourselves back in.
Grandson A also quite enjoys Grandma's knitting projects.  One yoga sock was slipped on A's feet as if it were a pair of deformed pants.  Just imagine a sock without toes and heels.  The space for the heel was like the crotch of the pants and the cast-on and bound-off ends were the bottom hems.  Yeah, you'd have to see it to know what I'm saying.  His mom told me that she finished a crocheted hat for his sister-to-be and A ran off with it.  Cheeky monkey!
I'm actually looking forward to having the little guy spend time with us overnight or for a weekend.  My kids used to spend time with my sister-in-law and her husband.  They'd watch videos, shop, and probably eat junk food.  Whatever they did, they loved it!  I'm not too sure if I'd fill the little guy up with junk food but watching movies and staying up later than at home sounds like fun.
Well, the whole object of this updated blog was to show that I'm still around and I promise pictures soon, possibly of the new grandchild.

Monday, May 31, 2010

where's Summer?

Even though technically it is still Spring around here, the weather has been decidedly soggy and cold.  Where we would have stopped using our wood insert by this time last year and would be spending a fair amount of time outside on our patio, we are still huddling by the fire and it's the end of May!
One thing about the cold is that I'm still inspired to knit.  Usually with the warm weather the knitting needles are put away and I lose any drive to knit anything other than socks perhaps.
Regarding socks, my sock drawer is overflowing due to a mad desire to knit these.  Even P (hubster) and my DD got socks!  Another reason for the sock knitting was that I was side lined for the last 8 months with an achilles injury and unable to hike.
Yesterday I did my first hike with our hiking group and it went unbelievably well, despite the cold and rain. I would show pictures except we didn't dare take the camera out of the pack with all the rain.

Two weeks ago I got my first shipment from the Unique Sheep's "Sip and Stitch: tea" club.  There were four 25 gram skeins of their fingering weight "Green Sheep" Cotton Bamboo in the colour "Persephone" as well as some hand blended "Persephone black" tea and a tea egg from Goddess Teas.

After I received the shipment I just had to check out the ladies behind the Unique Sheep and on Laura's flickr page, which I found through Ravelry, I discovered a really cool Origami bag I just had to sew up.  
The instructions call for two contrasting fat quarters, which is something most quilters know about.  I was impatient and instead of heading out to get fat quarters I raided my very sparse stash of fabric and came up with 2 - 6" squares of leftover fabric from an ancient quilting project.  This just was a perfect recipe for disaster and I nearly tossed the whole idea out the window except that a little voice kept reminding me that the pattern did call for fabric much, much bigger.  The mini bag is cute but won't hold much more that a thimble.
Well the following day I headed to the local fabric store and brought home 4 contrasting fat quarters, squared two of them up into 19" squares and created a bag.  It was much nicer working with larger fabric.  I neglected to buy cord so the completed bag has a temporary length of cord scavenged from my brother-in-law's fish boat when I was working as a deck hand for a few weeks many years ago. 

Origami bag

Just after dinner tonight the rain stopped and the sun came out.  We hadn't seen blue sky or sunshine for awhile so it was really good to see.  People were popping out of their homes with lawn mowers and other garden implements.  
Hopefully it will stay nice for awhile now especially since we bought our grandson a Little Tikes car which he could sit in if he wanted.  Right now he prefers to walk around the car, reach in to turn the key and honk the horn, and check the gas.  (No, there isn't a real gas tank but to a toddler with a great imagination it could be real).  Now that we've had the car outside for awhile it can't come inside so the only place A can play with it is outside.   Oh, did I mention that A is walking?  Yes, he started late but is making up for it.  Last week he marched outside and straight to the fence between our house and the neighbours.  He had been invited by the nice grandmother next door to come over to play with her grandson and to play in the playhouse that was being built for him.  A was trying to take her up on the invitation.  Unfortunately neither the grandmother nor the grandson were in the yard at the time. 
A's grandpa did make it clear that there is no way that a playhouse will be built in our yard for our grandson. 

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Rant on

Wow, Pat was telling me about an article he heard about regarding some American Evangelists who travelled to Uganda in order to spread their hatred of gays.   It is so hard to imagine that anyone who dares to call themself "Christian" could hate others so much.  Actually it is fairly easy to believe especially after reading other people's blogs as in when California was trying to pass the same sex marriage bill.  "Don't vote for this bill if you are interested in keeping the 'traditional family'" and "I don't want my child to find out that there is anything other than a traditional family".   Give me a break!  One thing I did learn when I attended church on a fairly regular basis was "love your neighbours as you love yourself" (Matthew 22:39).  At the same time I learned that these were merely words that were never practiced.
I do come from a "traditional family" (Dad, mom, kids) and my own family is also a "traditional family" but I have never viewed homosexuals as different from heterosexuals when dealing with them in their day to day lives.  As a famous Canadian politician once said "There is no place for the state in the bedrooms of the nation".  I strongly believe that.
Rant over....
The weather has been getting more Spring like all the time.  We are finding ourselves letting the fire in the insert die out during the day since it is just too darned hot!
I bought myself a 32 gig iPod Touch with the help of airmiles points.  It is my poor man's version of an iPhone.  I then found a whack of apps for it including some to track my points, some game ones, and best of all.... Pocket Yoga!
The pocket yoga app gives you a variety of levels (beginner, intermediate, experienced) and times (30 min., 45 min., 60 min.).  The workouts are not as simple as I thought they'd be.  I have never tried yoga but never realized that it was possible to get a good workout through it.  I'm a fan now.

Knitting wise things are going well.  The weather is playing with my mind telling me that "winter is over and summer is near".  Despite that I start work on the jacket for a baby girl.  As I mentioned in my previous post this jacket would be for a baby girl should one be born to either my daughter, my niece-in-law, or my friends' daughter.  Bad news came last week to my friends' daughter when she miscarried.  She and my daughter were both due at the exact same time.

I'm too lazy to insert photos at the moment but will make up for their lack in the next posting.

Sunday, April 04, 2010

Easter 2010

The annual COG Easter hike just started and the hikers have been blessed with a dry but overcast day.  I am still not  hiking and Pat decided to take part in the OCV hike to "the four bumps of Mt. Wells".
My achilles is improving and the lump of scar tissue (?) on the tendon seems to be getting smaller and smaller.  The plan is for me to try a 90 minute hike along a fairly level trail tomorrow, depending on the weather.
I just got over a sock-travagansa where Pat, Lisa, and I all ended up with hand-knit socks.  I made myself 3 pair, Lisa and Pat both got one pair each.  So I'm now "socked-out" and have moved on to knitting baby clothes for the various babies that are expected in the fall, including another grandchild for us and a new baby for our nephew and his wife.  I took a chance and decided to knit for a girl child hoping that one of the babies is female.  If not I'll hang onto the outfit in hopes that there will be a girl born in our extended family at some time.  Feel free to disagree with me but in my experience boys were so much easier to raise than girls although it was tough to dress up little boys the way you could little girls... and little girls just looked so darn cute in their pretty dresses until they found a mud puddle or pile of dirt to play in.

Lisa's "Inlaid Pennants" socks

Sorry for the short, late post.  I keep making plans to post more but then other things get in the way and I'm easily led astray but a good book or nice ball/skein of yarn.  :-)

Friday, February 26, 2010

the finish line looms

I was just informed that there are 2 days left in the Olympics and in the Olympic knitting challenge.
The shawl may end up finished on time but I figured that the shawl was going to be too simple so I took on Cat Bordhi's "Stained glass" socks from "Personal Footprints for Insouciant Sock Knitters". Not as simple as I had expected. I misread the instructions, lost my place in the chart (a few times) and a handicap in the form on one 15 month old grandson was tossed into the equation.
Now said grandson has been tossed into bed for a much needed nap and I'm bloggingworking on finishing sock 1. Knit faster and blog later Grace!

As far as the achilles tendon problem is concerned, I finished with physiotherapy, can't seem to be able to wear my hiking boots without causing a lot of pain to my right achilles, and am finally going to see a massage therapist. My G.P. seems to be somewhat clueless about this injury. She didn't examine it, merely whipped out her referral pad and asked if I'd like to see a physiotherapist. I went back to my G.P. a few days ago and informed her that things were not improving, as in I cannot wear my hiking boots, and she suggested I hike in runners. Ummm, not doable since most of the hikes involve rough terrain. She did say that if I were to "do real hiking", then I may need hiking boots. Duh!
At the end of the visit she again whipped out her referral pad and offered to send me to a massage therapist. Grumble, grumble, grumble!
Pictures of the finished shawl will be posted before the closing ceremony as proof that I was able to complete what I had intended to do.  Next time no second guessing.  I'll finish the object I had set out to complete and then, time allowing, add item(s).

Good luck all knitting athletes!

Thursday, February 18, 2010

A gorgeous day... again

Spring appears to be arriving early this year. Now that I have said this publicly we are likely doomed to snow.
The days are growing longer; aconites, snowdrops, and crocuses are blooming, and it won't be long before our winter sweaters are put back into their vacuum sealed bags until the fall.
P is still off work due to a back injury. An MRI showed some bulging disks and arthritis. He's determined to get 100% recovered and back to work though.
My achilles tendon is not fully recovered yet and I'm considering giving up on physiotherapy and trying massage therapy instead. A fellow hiker who had also injured her achilles was very pleased with her massage treatment and only missed about 6 weeks of hiking. P did point out that my friend stopped hiking as soon as she hurt her achilles while I kept on going for another 2 months or so. Initially I didn't really mind too much but the weather is getting so nice that I don't want to sit at home while P goes hiking without me.
For the past few nights the neighbour's dogs have been barking constantly. It appears that a momma racoon and her yearling have decided to visit our area and this morning they didn't get to their home on time, possibly because a dog scared them into a tree. One of our neighbours was out with his camera early this morning so I headed outside with mine.

The neighbour who's tree they were in took his dog inside for the day and finally somewhere around noon they shuffled off home. I'm sure that they'll be back tonight.

For the Yarn Harlot's Knitting Olympics I decided to complete a baby shawl which was started by my SIL's mom before she passed away. I agreed not to cheat by looking it over before the opening ceremonies on Feb. 12th.
Once I did look I figured that it would be too simple and ALMOST added a second project to the Olympic challenge. I swatched, and then sat with the partial shawl in my lap. The pattern didn't make too much sense to me so I put it down in frustration, looked at things again, compared the partial project to the picture and scratched my head. No matter what I did I could not see how this mass of white fingering yarn would end up like the picture in the book.

From "Beehive for Bairns, vol. 2. Page 21, Knitted shawl"

Non-plussed I picked up the needles and started working on what I thought was the right thing. After 6 rows it didn't look too much better so I put things away again, had some wine, ate dinner, and picked it up again. Until today I had been swatching, unravelling miles of yarn and threading dropped stitches back onto yarn holders.
Finally tonight I had an "ahah" moment and realized that Nettie (my SIL's mom) made an error. The shawl has a garter stitch centre which is shaped like a diamond. It is starts and ends with 3 stitches. Once the centre is done stitches are picked up from one side at a time and worked up to form a trapezoid. Once one trapezoid is done, 23 stitches are cast on and then peaks are knitted, using the 23 stitches plus one stitch from the top of the trapezoid. Yeah, you have to be here to visualize this. Once the peaks are done the remaining 23 stitches are put on a holder until the next trapezoid is done. Then the stitches on hold are used to work the next group of peaks on the second, third and forth trapezoid. I'm confused too as apparently Nettie was.

Instead of using the stitches on hold, Nettie cast on 23 stitches each time she finished a trapezoid. So, I could now either sew the cast on and bound off peak sections together or I could rip 3 of the trapezoids and re-work them correctly.
Any helpful suggestions are most welcome.
I'm also quite curious as to the publication date of this booklet. I did try to google for this and one source said this particular booklet was printed in 1940. A second source said that is dated to the early 1960's. Either way I'm considering copying out the pattern in modern terms for my own use, along with some clearer instructions.

Friday, February 05, 2010

Knitting Olympics returns

Wow! The Yarn Harlot has decided to host the Knitting Olympics again. I had been waiting for this since it would not be the same to join the Ravelympics.
I considered making the Knitpicks "East meets West" bag my Olympic project but I have a shawl which was started by Nettie Brozuk before she passed away. Her daughter asked if I would be able to finish it for her and I shelved it because it had started to unravel and I was a bit intimidated by it. I'll have to swatch and it will definitely be a challenge for me. In the spirit of the games I won't start swatching until the games start next week. Even if I fail to complete this on time, I'll give it my best shot.

Winter seems to have decided to skip us this year. It has been unseasonably warm and there haven't been too many days where it has fallen below zero degrees Celsius. I don't mind too much though.
Due to an injury to my achilles tendon I had to pass on the Outdoor Club of Victoria's 5 day outing to Mt. Washington. I was quite upset about it but going there and having to spend time sitting in the condo while others skied or snowshoed wasn't my idea of fun.
Physiotherapy seems to be going well and I'm currently walking for about 40 minutes each day, depending on how much pain there is. I've been doing my prescribed exercises faithfully twice each day as well. I can now squat much deeper and I'll be able to do a 30 minute trial hike next week, providing it is fairly level ground without too many hills.
P is also nursing an injury. He hurt his back in the fall and after going to a physiotherapist without seeing too much progress towards his recovery, he started seeing a chiropractor. I'm still not seeing much progress but P can notice. A CT scan showed 3 bulging disks and some arthritis. He is now scheduled for an MRI on Monday. I'm hoping that he'll recover soon.
In my spare time, of which I have quite a bit now that I'm not permitted to hike, I've been learning new methods of sock knitting from Cat Bordhi's books "New Pathways for Sock Knitters" and "Personal Footprints for Insouciant Sock Knitters".
On most Mondays my daughter comes to visit with her son who is a bit of a tornado. He used to be content with playing in one place in the living room. Once he became more mobile the rest of the house was his playground. He has rearranged our dvds and found the cookie cutters in the oven drawer. He also found where the plastic containers are stored. After he leaves with his mom the house looks like a disaster area with plastic containers, cookie cutters, and toys everywhere. Despite all that we love him dearly.