Sunday, October 15, 2017

Yopping 16 - ALL about the blanket


Well I did it - I finished knitting all the squares for Iona on Tuesday and Wednesday I started to join the squares and then the strips together. 

Last night I added the final strip and then picked up all the stitches from the waste yarn so I am ready to start the edging today. 

I currently have 716 stitches on 4 circular needles (one per side) and I will knit one set-up round increasing to 744 stitches before I start the i-cord. 


I am very happy with the colours I chose and the i-cord will be in the gold colour. 

And then there will so many ends to sew in.





Other than that this week I started teaching a history block to a Grade Seven class for two hours a day, I have been driving around my courtesy car waiting on my own car to get fixed, and my dear husband returned home after spending an extra week with our son, and then six days camping his way home to me. 

The laundry is done, the groceries are in, and after I finish my school prep for next week lessons.  I will be on the i-cord train.  I am curious how much of the gold yarn the i-cord will take.  I have 76 gms left so I am confident that yarn chicken will not be in my near future. 

(Famous last words.)

Then I will start Dying of the light  that I am eager to cast-on and also a pair of Katniss socks

This monogamous knitting is too, well, monogamous for me.

To see what my other blogger/crafty friends are up to go here 

Sunday, October 8, 2017

Yopping 15 - The good and the bad



Short and sweet today, because I am off to Thanksgiving dinner in a couple of hours and I have knitting to do.



I only have 2 1/2 more squares to do on the Iona before putting it all together.  I managed a square a day (except Friday - because I was busy busy busy until bed).

Of course Friday may have been a write off because this happened on Thursday night as I was leaving my Knit Group.


Yup.  My fault.  Turned too soon and the post didn't get out of the way.  Stupid post.

I have a courtesy car now and my car is in the shop.  Thank God for insurance.

Happy Thanksgiving everyone.



Sunday, October 1, 2017

Yopping # 14 - White Rabbit


It is the first day of a new month and therefore White Rabbit must be said to bring good luck for the rest of the month.

Ok, superstition aside let us get on with the week.

It has all been about the Iona blanket.  I am motoring through and have finished six more squares.

I only have eight left to go before putting it all together.



The putting together should be relatively easy because I have left live stitches on all my squares - so - yay for not having to pick up stitches!!!

I am in a wip-along to finish this by the end of October.  That is totally doable if I don't get waylaid by casting on new projects.

BUT.....

Knit City happened yesterday - and I just went to look and came home with:

1) hemp for another double-knit zodiac potholder

2) a pattern for a christmas present for my son

3) some Pima cotton for a few more Knitted Knockers

4) some gorgeous sock yarn - called The Road Less Travelled


5) yarn to make another of Knitterarium's shawls  - Dying of the Light



Ancient Arts is another of my favourite yarn companies.

So I MUST NOT CAST ON UNTIL IONA FINISHED!

but I can cake it, and pet it, right?

I think I forgot to mention last week that while I was on the little island I picked up some yarn at the free store (it really is a free store - re-cycling/re-using  at its ultimate finest). - Two partial skeins of baby yarn:



And a little friend gave me the cutest thank you gift for looking after her fish while she was away.


and lastly a dear friend brought me this scarf from her travels.


Can you tell all the white spots are little sheep?

To follow all my other wonderful Yopping bloggers go here!

I am off to cast on square 28.


The faces of grief

I know eight parents whose children have died before their time.
Nine if I count my grandmother
Whose son died far too early
And I was too young to know how truly young a forty nine year old is

I know two mothers each of whom had a  daughter die
Days before she was to be born
Years ago, and yet their private grief is etched into their hearts

I have seen wives lose husbands, and heard the grief in their voice as they mention his name.

I have seen a father so torn with grief over the loss of a daughter that he can only bury his head in this hands unable to look up for what must seem like interminable hours.

I have seen the face of a friend wrapped in a towel  The resolute look on that beautiful face.  The selfie of a brave face etched with grief from the loss of her breast.

I have seen my own grief in a mirror's reflection
My face distorted
The ugliness of my tears so vivid that I can only stare at the visual representation of a breaking and broken heart.

I have heard the wailing of my grief, my voice unrecognizable.

I have held others as they wailed, giving voice to the unthinkable. 

And yet.

And yet there are those still moments of laughter, of carrying on, of, what?

Forgetting?

Compartmentalizing?

Numbness?

Healing? 

Those moments when memories can flood in from a time when we were full of hope and innocence.

Before the world was lost and too real. 

Before death had the final say. 

As I walk past strangers I see grief etched on every face.

Except the faces of the very young. 

And it is those faces that make me brave enough to carry on and to know that what my mother said to me all those times over all those years is true.

This too shall pass.





Monday, September 25, 2017

Yopping Numero Treize - a little knitting, a lot of camping


I did start another Iona square and it is almost finished but this past week was all about camping. 

Here are a few pictures of our adventures and I will be home on Wednesday so more knitting should ensue.  I am worried about my cabling needle getting on the airplane, but I will surrender it if need be. 


Here are the falls just down the trail from our campsite.


 And my son finishing his 45 km bike ride (we were his support team).


Here we are at Fish Lake - soooooo crowded!


And yes, there was snow on the ground and got down to -6 the first night so I loved this little resilient plant.

Here we are camped by the Big Horn River.

And here is a picture of one of the little red squirrels that kept us amused.


And the grey jays that kept hoping we would leave the picnic table unattended.



Before I forget - here is my the test knit by Ruth aka Celtic-Knits aka Knitterarium.  It is such a fantastic pattern.  It turned out so big and lush and I KNOW I will wear it everywhere!

So that is my week - I now have two weeks of reading to do of the other Yoppers but I promise I will get there by the end of the week. 

Sunday, September 17, 2017

Yopping Update Twelve - A buddy for the bookworm

This post will be short and sweet and to the point.  I just got home from travelling all day, and I am leaving for more travelling tomorrow so I am tired and my cat needs cuddles.  Let's begin:

Here is my Antarktis off the blocking mat.



I am so happy with this sparkly project:

I did get my Yukon Hococo sewn together - oh my there were soooo many ends to sew in once he was all put together.


But I did it!



I made my sister promise to talk me out of any more little knitted animals - but then she gave me this book.  (She is not to be trusted!)



So maybe - after the Iona is done...... 

I resisted casting on anything new after Hococo was done and I went on to complete six more squares of the Iona.  I have entered a WIP down to finish her by the end of October.   Ack!  I think I can do it. It takes me about one evening per square - and I only have fourteen more to go! (Well, then there is the putting it all together part, too).

I really want to finish her because I am certain I will have quite a lot of left over wool from it and I can't wait to knit other things with the beautiful colours of this very smooshy bluefaced leicester  wool.  I am sure I have mentioned before that bfl wool is my absolute favourite.

This bfl has been dyed by Kinfolk Yarns - her colours are so fantastic - she is a true artist with those dye pots.

If you are a spinner/weaver/knitter/crocheter do you have a favourite wool and/or yarn company?

So that is my week - I was away for the weekend and just got home so I am quickly getting this post done before bed.

We are off for a camping trip tomorrow - but the Iona is perfect camping knitting.  Small and portable.

And yes, there is still no picture of the test knit - but a little birdie told me that probably next week. 

Stay tuned.  I can't wait to share her with you. 

To follow other yopper bloggers go here. Their posts are always an inspiring and entertaining read. 







Sunday, September 10, 2017

Yopping Eleven - Finished Objects



First of all the secret test knit is still under wraps but it is done and I can't wait to show it to you.

(Get the pun - under wraps?  Cause it is a shawl....oh never mind.)

But, not yet!

After the big finish I went back to poor Mr. Bookworm, who, if you remember, I had left all in  pieces!


So I started:

This first pic is somewhat x-rated and rude comments abounded in my house.


This sat on the coffee table for a day or so and my husband plaintively asked WHAT was I knitting.

Things improved with a few accessories.


And by the time he had on all his clothes (and his arms) he was almost done!


The pince-nez spectacles were the final touch!




See the cute detail of words on the pages of his book?


Also I checked on Ravelry and I think I am the first and only person to have made this pattern.  


So once he was all put together I returned to my Antarktis shawl which I finished with zero yarn left over.  I had to fudge the bind off of the last fifteen or so stitches, but it looks fine.

Here she is on the blocking mat before blocking. The headache I have had off and on all week really took a turn for the worse on Saturday so no blocking happened.


So now that was done I started to knit all the rest of the pieces for Hococo the Lemur.

Once knitted I couldn't bear the thought of starting to put it together (my least favourite task) so I knit another twenty rows on my sixteenth Iona square that has been ignored for far too long.

I swear once this lemur is sewn together and stuffed I will:

a) not knit any fiddly toys that required sewing together for quite some while, and

b) get back to my Iona blanket before I (God help me) cast on these really cute socks in the Simply Knitting magazine that Mr. Bookworm came from. Oh, and there is a really cute sweater in there too!

So there is my week.  Three finished objects, and plans for new cast-ons.  (Don't tell my Iona.)

I will leave you all with a link to The Knitting Song  which I discovered this week.


And the link to follow other Yoppers who are as crazy as me - some even crazier as this is their seventh year of yopping along.

Sunday, September 3, 2017

Yopping numéro dix - Knitting and pickles

Oh my goodness people - I have been knitting, really!  Every single day but no pictures yet so be patient.  I will finish the test knit this week as I am on the border and have probably two more days of knitting to go.  Then blocking!!

I am loving this pattern and the yarn I am using so I am excited to share it with you once the pattern is published.

I have also been making pickles this week.  Silly me because yesterday was such a hot day and between sterilizing bottles, making the mustard sauce and then sealing the bottles in a hot water bath my kitchen was probably a million degrees.  (That is likely a gross exaggeration).

Here is my progress as of yesterday afternoon.


And here is this morning's work - much easier process and all done before the house got too hot.


I decided that 3 1/2 pints is not nearly enough onions so I went out this morning early and bought four more pounds.  Tomorrow I will get up early and finish them up.

If you want to read more about my mustard pickles and why it is so important for me to do this each year you can read yesterday's post.

It has been a good few days.  On Friday I went to the Pacific National Exhibition with a good friend I have know since Grade Three and we walked and talked and took in the sights.

I haven't been able to go swimming while I wait for my tattoo to heal but I think I will be in the water again by Tuesday.  I miss the pool, but I love my tattoo so it is all worth it.

So that is my week:  secret knitting, canning pickles, and visiting with good friends.

To follow my yopping friends check out their posts here.

Saturday, September 2, 2017

Mustard Pickles

I started making a batch of mustard pickles yesterday.  It is my grandmother/aunt's recipe and as I was cutting up the vegetables to put into the brine I felt so connected to those two women.

As I sliced each stalk of celery, peeled each small silverskin onion, handled each tiny dill pickle and cut the cauliflower into flowerets I though of how many gallons of pickles they had made over the years.



My aunt taught my sister and daughter and me how to make the pickles about twenty years ago.

She taught us before her dementia had truly taken her from us, and that day in her little kitchen is one I hold dear to my memory.

I have only been making them for a few years but I remember the first time I made the pickles on my own I had wished I had paid more attention to the smaller details, but still, and all, my pickles taste like hers.



Last year for the first time I decided to also make their pickled onions.  I only made six jars but every time I opened one and tasted the first onion it reminded me of their preserves cellar, their cold cupboard, their warm kitchen.



To be honest those pickles just tasted like home. And love.

I am going to spend today sterilizing bottles, blanching the vegetables, making the mustard sauce and putting up the pickles for the winter just as Granny and Georgie did numerous times.

And tomorrow I will do the onions.

I am using their stoneware crock, their hand-written recipe and their love is infused in it all.



And also, I didn't forget

My father died forty-four years ago yesterday.  My grandmother was his mother.  My aunt was his sister.  And in starting those pickles yesterday, for a brief moment, I had them all in my little kitchen.


Sunday, August 27, 2017

Yopping Number Nine - All about the purple


This week I have been exclusively working on my testknit for Knitterarium so no pictures until the pattern is released.

I have finished the first section in the lilac purple, and I am on row 12 of the lace section (darker purple) now.  I am up to 395 stitches and each row adds four more stitches.

Needless to say each row takes me a good part of an episode of Scott and Bailey.

It is a lovely knit, the pattern is easy to follow and I have all my stitch markers in so I can see when I have forgotten or added an errant yarn over.

Sometimes I muck up the CDD and have to go back and fix it.  I am working with lace yarn and I wish my needles were a little pointier, but so far so good.

Of course when it comes to blocking I might find a few mistakes but it will all be good in the end.

The big news this week is Monday's eclipse which I blogged about here.

It was a lovely morning spent with my dh.

And, yes, I did get my tattoo on Wednesday.

Ta-Da.

To understand why this symbol has such a strong meaning for me you can read my post here.

Or another one here

So that's it for me.  No pictures of knitting but lots of knitting has been done.

I promise.

To follow other yoppers you can check out their week's progress here.

Wednesday, August 23, 2017

HodgePodge Wednesday - It has been a while



I haven't HodgePodged in a while and this seemed like a good week to start back, so here goes:

1. Did you watch the solar eclipse? Your thoughts? Sun Chips, Moon Pies, Starburst candies, a Blue Moon beer, a Sunkist orange, or a Milky Way candy bar...what's your favorite eclipse related snack on this list?

I did watch the eclipse and I blogged about it here.

Hmmm.  Probably the Milky Way bar - if it comes in dark chocolate.  I hate sun chips, I have never had a Moon Pie, Starburst candies are ok - ish.  I don't even know what a Blue Moon beer is, and I do like oranges except I don't like that they leave you with sticky fingers.

2. What are you 'over the moon' about these days? What's something you enjoy doing every 'once in a blue moon'?

I am over the moon about my new tattoo.


To read about why this symbol is so important to me you can read my blog from April 2016 here.

I guess I like getting a tattoo once in a blue moon - this is my second after six years. 


3. Tell us about something in the realm of science that interests you. How do you feed that interest?

I love geeky science.  Yesterday while watching the eclipse we were playing around with the pinhole camera.  The physics of it still fascinates me.  I love flora and fauna.  I love growing things, and watching the birds at our feeder and discovering animals on our camping trips.



4.  What are a few things you remember about going back to school as a child.


First day of school photos taken by my parents in the front yard.  The covers they would give us to cover all our textbooks.  The new school supplies.  I loved the newness and freshness of the new beginning of each school year - both as a student, a parent and a teacher.

5.   I've seen several versions of this around the net so let's make one of our own...share with us five words that touch your soul and briefly tell us why.

Rain on the camper roof.

I was diagnosed with a chronic illness when I was 48 years old.  That is almost 14 years ago It is all good now, but at the time we were not sure what the outcome would/could be.  After the diagnosis my husband asked me what I wanted to do with whatever time I had.  My answer was I want to be in the camper with you listening to rain on the roof.   Rain on the camper roof always makes me feel safe and loved,  warm and secure.

6.  Insert your own random thought here.

My brain is filled with so many random thoughts these days.  I wanted to answer 'Don't sweat the small stuff' for question 5 but I am not very good at following that advice.  But now I have thought of it again I will try to keep it more to the forefront.

DSTSS  was engraved on a watch my husband gave me many years ago.  You would think I would have learned it by now!


To see other hodgepodge posts click here