Sunday, August 20, 2017

Yop Update eight - Nothing to see here

The title of this blog might be a tad misleading.  I don't have any finished objects to show but that doesn't mean there hasn't been knitting, and other things.

I have finished all the pieces of Monsieur Bookworm, but alas he is languishing in a pile of pieces waiting to be sewn together.

And because I didn't feel up to sewing him together (such fiddly work) I start the Lemur and got his body done


I felt the urgent need to cast on my Antarktis with my new MaryAnnes Sparkle yarn.

And then, since I just felt the need for a challenge I signed up for Knitterarium's latest test knit, which meant I HAD to go buy some lace yarn for the contrasting colour to the lace I showed you last week.

I hand wound the lace I got last week - 1200 yards - and it took me the good part of an hour.  My yarn winder doesn't like large balls of lace so the is why the hand-winding.  On the plus side I know what I am asking my husband to get me for my next birthday!

I have finished the first repeat and I am half way through the second, but I can't show you my progress because it is a secret until the pattern is published.  The deadline  is September 11, so that will be my focus this coming week.

So that is my week - a little of this, a little of that.

Oh, and I got my haircut.  Nice and short for swimming. There is a new pool close to my house that is fantastic.  I am getting to the pool every other day for a good mile swim.  I love it.

I also bought a swim-buddy so my husband can keep track of me when I head out on a lake or in the ocean.

It is tied around my hips and floats behind and above me so boaters , paddlers, but mostly my husband, can see me from afar.

And I finally booked an appointment for a tattoo next week which I will unveil to you next Sunday.  I have wanted this particular tattoo for about 16 months - and, well, no time like the present.

Let's see, what else?

We picked 33.5 pounds of apples off of our tree last night - so I will be freezing apples for winter pies (and eating lots just as they are).

So there is my week.  I guess the title was a tad ironic!  To follow my other wonderful yopping companions click here

Sunday, August 13, 2017

Update 7 - Meet Anxious Bunny

So I finished the bunny on Wednesday.  I tried for two hours to get her mouth to have a happy expression but it just wasn't working - so - meet my anxious bunny. Sad in the comfy deck chair...

She is very cuddly and the perfect use of my alpaca yarn.

Now I am on a soft toy kick and I have started an Alan Dart pattern from the same magazine as the Unicorn and the Bunny.  Prof. B. Wormington.  He is a book worm and I am almost finished the body.  Nice mindless knitting (although I image the little eyeglasses and professor's tasseled mortar board are going to be tricky).
I also spent an afternoon looking at and resisting buying more Alan Dart patterns from his website, but oh my the Noah's Ark and Advent Tree and Nativity Scene are much too cute.

I did find a pattern for HOCOCO, the lemur, a free Alan Dart pattern for charity and it will be perfect for the rest of my brown alpaca.

I finished washing my friend's fleece and received some lovely yarn to make the Antarktis Shawl on my list.

Can you see the name of the yarn?  It was meant for me all along!

I also got a skein of 1200 yards of light purple lace weight from her stash.  Oh the possibilities are endless.

I have washed some baby doll fleece for myself, but I haven't yet followed up on that drum carder.

Last night the rain's finally came and washed the smoke out of the sky.  Today has been a lazy day as we are recovering from having one set of guests for breakfast, another set for lunch and then going out to listen to my brother's band play at a bar last night.

And to top of our Saturday experience we came home around 11:30 to find a big black bear in our neighbour's front yard, right beside where we parked our car.  Eek!

So that is my week.  If you want to follow other yoppers check out their progress here.  

I will leave you with another look at the oh so sad bunny.  Sad out of the comfy deck chair....

Sad in the living room (but to be fair I wouldn't let her watch the television).

Sunday, August 6, 2017

Yopping Update Numero six

So the socks are done.

and the unicorn is all sewn together.

I finished the 15th square of the Iona and for a brief moment in time I had nothing on my needles!

Ack!  That wouldn't do so I started another stuffed toy.  A bunny that was in the spring Simply Knitting insert called Quick and Easy Toy Knits.

It is the perfect pattern to use up some brown alpaca I have for the body and I have some white cascade for the tummy and inside of the ears and paws.  It is going to be very cute.

I can't post a picture of it because at this point I have a head and body, two arms, the tail and one leg. So be patient dear readers as I am sure he/she will be on show next week

The big news of my week is that a dear dear friend of mine gifted me with 1625 gms of fibre!!!! Yes, that is correct.  Some is in the fleece stages, some is undyed fibre and some is dyed fibre.  There is even some silk hankies or mawatas (which I had to google).  Oh my goodness I was so excited that I decided to organize my craft room so I could find places for all of it.

Organizing my craft room somehow led me to cleaning out the carport and taking two loads to the recycling depot and one load to the dump.  Only one item from the craft room was in those three loads - but it seemed that the de-cluttering on the one room got me going to others.  I have another large box ready to send to goodwill as well.

Yesterday I finally dismantled a broken double bed that has been half dismantled for quite some long time, and I set up the good double bed and re-arranged the downstairs bedroom into quite a lovely
guest room space.

Now the carport has a broken bed, broken bedside table and other assorted bits and pieces to go out with the next dump run.  I even organized all my gardening tools and swept the carport!

As my husband would say:  "I think your new meds are working!"

Yesterday I started to wash some alpaca fleece for another friend who is going to pay me in something yummy from her copious yarn stash.  I can't wait to go 'shopping' at her house.  I already received two partial skeins of Plucky yarn from her that were leftovers from two of her latest projects. I think there is enough to make another pair of socks from the Op-Art book.

I bought a sweater drying rack on Friday at Bed, Bath and Beyond which will be perfect for drying fleeces as it will allow airflow from the bottom and the top.  The alpaca will get the first go at it.

On Thursday at my knit group I learned that some wool stores rent out their drum carders.  This is fantastic news because I have soooooooo much fleece to card and hand carding it would take be forever.  I will keep you posted on my investigation into this possibility.

So that has been my week.  The smoke is pretty bad here on the westcoast and my dh and I both seem to be experiencing headaches from it but at least today the temperatures were much cooler.

If you want to check out what the other wonderful yoppers have done in the past week head here.

Friday, August 4, 2017

Sometimes you can't fix the broken things

I spent half a day trying to repair a wooden laundry rack that had been my mother's.  It was a bit of a monkey puzzle, and for the dyslexic in me there was a lot of challenge.

It was hot.
I kept going back to it and finally figured out how it could go together, but many of the dowels were rotted and would take so much time (and frustration) to fix.

I didn't need the laundry rack.  I have a great one of my aunt's that I use to dry my clothes outside on these sunny hot days.

Finally I decided that enough was enough and I just had to let it go.

On the heels of that decision was to let go of another chair of my mother's that was in need of repair.

I loaded them both in the back of my car.

And the chair I gave my mother for her 65th birthday that has been in my carport for...years.

Time to let go.

Memories don't have to be tied up in things, and every time I saw these broken things it made me sad.

It made me think I should fix them.

But not everything is fixable.

There were other things in the carport and in the basement making me sad - and they could be recycled - so I took two trips to the recycling depot.

There are things in my life, broken things, that may not be fixable.

These things remind me of a Stephen Fearing song - As the Crow Flies

Driving through the dead of night
A hundred miles on one headlight
Movin’ on
There are times when you can’t see what’s up ahead
But you make your choice and you make your bed
Movin’ on
Try to heal the things you’ve broken
The words you left unspoken
Learn to say goodbye
Wait for when the moment’s golden
Choose the door that opens
Straight as the crow flies
Movin’ on, movin’ on
With the best of intentions you can lose the day
But you get back up and on your way
Movin’ on
‘Cause people will talk and tell you lies
They flap their lips right before your eyes
Movin’ on
Try to heal the things you’ve broken
The truth you left unspoken
Learn to say goodbye
Wait for when the moment’s golden
Choose the hand that opens
Straight as the crow flies
Movin’ on, movin’ on
Rising from the ash and the dust
You turn the key from hope to trust
And all those hurtful things that were said
Are in the past now look ahead
Movin’ on, movin’ on, movin’ on, movin’ on
Try to heal the things you’ve broken
Don’t leave the truth unspoken
Learn to say goodbye
Wait for when the moment’s golden
Choose the path that opens
Straight as the crow flies
Movin’ on, movin’ on
Driving through the dead of night
A hundred miles on one headlight
A hundred miles
A hundred miles
Movin’ on

I am trying to do this.  Trying to move on.  Learning to say good-bye.

This past month I have been searching for a book I can't find, a quote I can't locate, a jacket I have misplaced.

I am obsessed with finding these things and it is making me crazy(er).  I think that I believe if I can find these lost things then my life will be orderly and okay and all will be right with the world.

But the truth is there are some things I have lost that I will never get back.

There are people I have lost that I will not see again.  At least not in this lifetime.

There are words I have spoken that I cannot take back.

There are words that have been spoken to me that will haunt be forever.

There are bridges burned.

But this week I made some progress.  I got some things out of my way that have been making me sad.

That is good, right?

Yes, that is good. '

Movin' On.

Sunday, July 30, 2017

Yop Update # 5 ....and one more thing

Well, thanks to the two sailing wait to get home on Monday I did finish the first Alhambra sock and cast on the second before docking on my side of the water.

It was a little snug to get on because I didn't carry the floats long enough for the first repeat.

The second sock I wanted to do with reverse colours. Remember? Well I started it and was on row 16 when I read the comments on the previous post and remembered - ack!!! I am suppose to be reversing the colours.

So I frogged back to the cuff and restarted.

It was a little tricky to remember that the dark square in the chart means the light yarn and vice versa, but once I got the pattern rolling I had very few places where I forgot and had to tink back a few stitches.

I turned the heel last night and here is my progress on sock number two. This is the wrong side of the sock as I am knitting them inside out so the floats will be looser.

Can you see the reversal?  Cool, eh?

One night I did a few more rows on Iona square number 15 - but not enough to rate a picture.

When I was on the little island I bought a knitting magazine and it had a kit to make a unicorn. I have all the pieces knit but now I need to sew them together (my least favourite knitting task). Next week I will unveil the little unicorn stuffy.

And the one more thing?

It is my dh's and my 40th wedding anniversary today! Yup, 40! There has been some tinking back over the years, and some frogging, and even a few times when the project was put on a time out, but all in all here we are - and both glad to be together, still in love, and the best of friends.

Wednesday, July 26, 2017

Morning Coffee

I am sitting on the back deck, chasing the sun around and listening to all the different bird songs.

I am home after a month away and the bird feeders were E.M.P.T.Y.!

Now I have filled them and the Pine Siskins, House Finches, Downy Woodpecker and Chick-a-dees are all flitting back and forth and eating their fill. I haven't seen any hummingbirds yet. They take longer to lure back to the feeders after an absence. Stubborn little things.

Our cat is around, and is slowly forgiving us for our absence and he is sitting barking at the birds. I wish I could record the sound he makes - it is definitely a bark!

The coffee has hit my system which means it is almost time to get started with the day - put the laundry out to dry in the sun - find the Almond Butter I brought home with me - make toast (with aforementioned Almond Butter) - and plan a long overdue phone date with my son, and daughter.

The days are hot here - 27 degrees Celsius - but the nights cool down quickly so the heat is welcomed and not oppressive.

It is days like this where I feel like I could live here forever. We have already lived here forever - 35 years - but the thought of selling and moving somewhere quieter and less expensive does fill our heads from time to time - especially when the November rains come.

But today, sitting on the back porch, drinking coffee, I feel almost peaceful.

There were tears this morning as I processed some old wounds, but a long hug with my dh helped to put them aside.

Yes, the floor needs washing, and the dust bunnies moved in while we were away, but all in all this will be a lazy day to read, and knit, and putter around.

I might even get out the spinning wheel on the back porch and spin up the fibre I carded a couple of months ago.

I went to a support group yesterday. I have been a few times now and I feel it is helping.

It is all helping.







And the birds. The birds really are helping.

Sunday, July 23, 2017

Yop Update #4 - A month already?

Yes it has been a month already - and I have to say I am further along then I thought I would be.

This week I did finish another square for my Iona and I am half way through number 15, but since they look exactly like the ones before no picture is needed.

However, I did make more progress on my Alhambra socks and as of last night here they are:

The chart is very easy to follow and for the other sock I am going to switch the blue and white around as I read the chart.

We are heading home tomorrow from the little island. It will be hard to leave. There are so many memories here, and it is still unfathomable to me that he is gone and I won't here his voice say my name every again.

Still we will head home and start planning our trip south to catch the eclipse on August 21st.

Another part of my year of projects is to do a more thorough edit on a novel I wrote almost two years ago. The plot of the novel revolves around a post-it note and that is the reason I chose the header I did for this year's Year of Projects challenge.

I plan to get serious about the novel this coming year. I will keep you posted. (No pun intended!)

Sunday, July 16, 2017

Year of Projects Update #3 - Pride goeth....

Thank you to all who left comments on my last post. I appreciate your kind words and responses. Last night we went down to our favourite spot to watch the sunset and I know our guy was there with us in spirit.

I did finish (finally) the SlipStichSpiral socks. When you knit socks on 2 mm needles they do seem to take f.o.r.e.v.e.r.

A dear friend and I are knitting the same pattern from my Op-Art book. It is called Alhambra and it is a fairisle pattern.

The cuff starts with a provisional cast-on using a crochet chain. I proudly announced to the room that I knew how to do this and merrily made a crochet chain and then cast-on to the chain.

I knit my 12 rounds and then folded over the cuff to join with the provisional cast-on to make a hemmed cuff.


I clearly hadn't cast on properly because the chain didn't unravel smoothly and I had to clip each chain in order to free the stitch. I did persevere but it took much too long. For the second sock I will cast on being more careful about which part of the crochet chain I pick up.

I did get seven rounds into the fairisle, but it is not an easy pattern to do while listening to family chatting so I put it aside.

I started another square of my Ione and was pleased to get to row 20 before bed. I will finish it sometime today. I am finding each square easier then the one before although I did have to tink back one and a half rows to fix an errant colour change.

I also made a page on this blog with my list of projects for this year's YOP so you can check that out and I will update it when I finish projects and/or add projects to the list.

If you want to follow other yoppers check out the Ravelry group here.

Sunday, July 9, 2017

Year Of Projects - Week Two - Turning the Heel

Sometimes in life all you can do is put one foot in front of the other. You walk.

Sometimes in life you take one more stroke and then one more. You swim.

Sometimes in life you just keep paddling, or rowing, or breathing.

And, sometimes all you can do is cry.

Our family lost a dear man two weeks ago. I was the best man at his wedding. He was the best man to all who knew him.

So here I am, keeping company with those of us in grief, and when I can I pick up my knitting.

There is something soothing about making a stitch, and then another.

My sister and I sometimes knit in silence, sometimes we talk, sometimes we just put our knitting down in our laps and we cry.

I did turn the heel this week.

It took me two tries, and a fair bit of tinking, and except for a tiny hole, which I can fix when I sew in the ends, it is good.

It is better than good.

Because sometimes if you just keep moving forward, even with some backward steps in the middle, you will get to where you want.

My family is not sure where we want to be right now. We know who we would like to be with us, but that is not what the fates had in store.

I know that I can hear his voice as he looks at my sock-in-progress. "You did that?!" he would say.

Yes, I did that. This week, when it seemed that sometimes the ache was too deep, I kept knitting and I turned the heel. And when the socks are finished I will think of him whenever I wear them.

Sometimes carrying on is all we can do.

Sometimes it is the least we can do.

I know he is watching us and sending us signs that it will all be okay in the end.

If it's not okay, it's not the end.

Sunday, June 25, 2017

Year of Projects - Here we go again

Welcome to my opening post for A Year Of Projects - Year 7. (Although only year 2 for me).

This week I finished one of my slipstripespiral socks and I am about 3 inches in on the second sock.

So here goes!


Iona blanket

SlipStripeSpiral socks

In all I want to make a dozen pair of socks this coming year.

Tibetan Socks - a few pairs

Taxi Socks for my son

A pair from my Op-Art Socks book by Stephanie Van Der Linden



Another shawl from The Book of Haps

Doubleknit Potholders

Tree of Life

Zodiac - a couple of these

TPHPE Hot Pads


Seattle Cowl


Wash,Card and Spin my 5 fleeces

Spin hemp I have

Spin Shetland roving in my stash


Dye two skeins of bare yarn


Knit Cowichan style sweater with homespun made with above fleeces

Scottish Ale for my hubby


four pairs


make something with three balls of brown alpaca

made something from all the cotton I have or else give it away!


Knitted Knockers


Hat to match my Dizzy sweater

Leftover fingering odds and ends

Start another (smaller) sock yarn blanket

So that's my list as things stand on July 2, 2017. If you would like to follow other Yoppers or if you would like to join in you can check us out here on Ravelry.

Year of Projects - Final Update #52

Well here we are - the final update of a Year of Projects.

This week I finished the twelfth Iona square which means I am a third of the way done!

I finished my Double Heelix socks

I quickly decided to cast on another sock, again one with lot of new things to learn.

This Slipstripespiral sock started with a new toe (at least for me). Cat Bordhi's Personal Footprint toe.

It also used the idea of Cat Bordhi's Sweet Tomato Heel, but incorporated Japanese short rows which was also a first for me.

I am using the Red Kroy I got from my sister's island free store, and my blue alpaquita. I love this stitch!

I mailed off the Knitter Knockers and am waiting to see if the size is correct. Then I will make another.

Looking back over the past Yopping Year I have the following tallies:

5 hemp Zodiac potholders

Prince Potholder (my design)

15 1/2 pairs of socks

3 shawls

2 blankets

5 illusion knit kitchen cloths

2 sweaters (for me)

6 cowls

4 adult hats

3 baby sweaters

1 pair diaper pants

2 baby hats

2 teddy bears

2 knitted knockers

12 Iona Squares

1 C2C doll blanket

2 crocheted Star Wars characters (Yoda and Stormtrooper)

I am pleased that I was able to blog every one of the 52 weeks. It was so great to read other Yopper's blogs and to meet and make new blogging/crafty friends.

I am looking forward to joining and Yopping along for year 7 starting July 1, 2017. I almost have my list ready.

Stay tuned.

And....if you want to join the fun check out the Ravelry Group here.

Sunday, June 18, 2017

51 Yops - Old dog, four new tricks

First of all Happy Father's Day to all who father in whatever capacity. My dh must have liked the socks I knit him for Father's Day because they were on his feet seconds after he received them.

I know I should have been working on Iona squares this week, and I did get one finished and another started, but then as I was making my list of things to do for next year's YOP challenge, one item became a thing I had to cast on immediately.

I have had the Double Heelix in my list of things to do for years, and the Kroy yarn I received a couple of weeks ago seemed like the right combination. I love fraternal socks - they appeal to my weird sense of symmetry. And the helix? That appeals to the math geek in me.

This sock starts......are you ready for the heel! First new trick.

And to make things really interesting it forms a helix, where the colours chase themselves around the centre using four strands of yarn. This picture is my first attempt which I ripped out and re-did. Second time was better. Third time better still.

Once the heel is done you do a crochet bindoff, and them make a crochet chain bridge (second new trick) so you can go on to knit either the foot or the cuff. These crochet bindoffs are provisional so you can pick up the stitches and knit the other direction seamlessly.

For the first sock I did the foot first, which ends with a short row toe - third new trick.

Then for the leg, it ends with an interlock bindoff - fourth new trick. Thank goodness for Jeny's videos to help me with both the helix heel and the bindoff.

I am almost finished the leg of the second sock and then I will go onto the foot. This means my helixes (is that even a word?) will go in opposite directions. This was a challenge for my left/right issues, but I figured it out with only having to tink back one row of knitting and all the crochet chains to get the helix going in the right direction. (When in doubt follow the directions).

This week I also made a knitter knocker for a dear friend who had a mastectomy earlier this month. I have finished one, and I am making a second a bit smaller. I will mail them off to her, and then make another the size she prefers.

My doctor started me on a new anti-anxiety med and it seems to be helping (fingers and toes crossed, knocking on wood, etc. etc.) Despite both of us having the flu this past week (I think our honorary grand-daughters passed it on to us), things feel lighter somehow. So that is a good thing, even though the team I was rooting for in the Stanley Cup lost. :(

On a personal note I have had a candle lit all week for my dear brother-in-law who is very ill. If you have prayers or angels or a meditation practice I know he and his loved ones would appreciate all the good thoughts sent their way.