Wednesday, October 10, 2012

It's still Summer on the West Coast

A few days ago Hope, BC was the hot spot for Canada at 24 Celsius.  This is unheard of in October.  For Hope these temperatures are unheard of pretty well all summer too.  It rains a lot in Hope and the wind blows quite a bit too.  Hope is beautiful though and a few days ago it was still summer in October.

I don't live in Hope, but I'm pretty close.  It is kind of nice as we didn't have summer in June or July.  It was still almost winter, not even Spring, so we deserve to have a summer that not only went through September but carried into October.  They say the rain is heading our way and we're in for a lot of it starting this coming weekend.  Oh well, nothing lasts forever and cooler weather means......GOOD KNITTING times....

Speaking of knitting.  I've got some more to show you all.

Here's the promised pictures of my Accola Shawl after it was blocked.  I'm really happy with how it turned out.  The closeup photos show the beads and the nupps which made me a beading and nupping expert.

For my birthday, my other new designer friend Bev, from Boo Knits decided to throw a Mystery KAL with a brand new design of hers called "Out of Darkness".  It really wasn't for my birthday, but thinking it was makes it seem even more special and really aren't all knitters friends anyway?????

So I called my rendition of Bev's design "Into Purple" because I was knitting this one in Purple.  I think I told you how carefully I choose each and every name in my last entry.  A lot of heavy thinking goes into the process so it'll be just right.  This was a fun knit as approximately 200 other Ravelers all knit it at the same time.  Lots of fun.  The wool I used was fantastic.  It was a Tussah Silk from a company in Germany called "Dye for Yarn".  I'm an expert now and know that the silk worms that make Tussah silk are actually farmed in the orient by silk farmers and they don't lose their lives in the process (the silk worms, I don't know about the farmers).  Other types of silks the worms die for us to enjoy, so that's kind of sad.  Tussah silk is not quite as shiny or slippery as the other kinds of silk, but it is soft and apparently takes dye really well.  Dye for Yarn had such a run on their Tussah Silk during Bev's Mystery KAL that they ran out of it by the end of August and have just now got more in their store.

Anyway, onto the pictures.....ta da

So, as you can see I'm kind of into "Boo Knits"  I absolutely LOVE her designs.  They are beautiful, easy and they make me look like an expert (which as you've probably guessed I'm really not, I just like to tell you I am)

My next project was another Boo Knit (told you I liked them).  She came out with this one as soon as Mystery KAL ended (smart girl) and the design is called "Almost Autumn".  I call mine "Autumn Haze" for no other reason except I like that name.  I haven't blocked it out yet, but I'll show you a sneak peak.  It is all lace, with some beautiful triangle beads and then I finished it off with a picot bind off.  I'd never done this type of bind off before and it is beautiful AND IT SHOULD BE as it took about 5 hours to just bind off.  I'm an expert on it now though, so that's a good thing.

Till next time.....

Have fun and don't do anything I wouldn't do (pssssst, that means you can pretty well do anything you want to)

EDITED to add more - October 10, 2012

Forgot to add that I finished this Boo Knit Pattern also...It's Boo Knits "Dare to Dream", mine is called "Daydream Dares".  I used a scrumptious yarn from Handmaiden called Sea silk and it is heavenly.  A little slippery but so soft.

And then I also forgot to add this one...Another Boo Knit called "Sweet Dreams".  I call mine Dream a little dream and it's made out of the same Tussah silk that my "Into Purple" was knit with.  I love everything about it...

And that's it...Don't think I've forgot anything...WOW, I was busy between my blog entries....

Sunday, August 12, 2012

Ok, I lied

I can't believe that it was May when I said I would definitely Blog more....arggggggggg

Oh well, better later then never.

I'm still possessed..I mean obsessed with knitting.  I can't seem to get enough.  It's just crazy.

Here are some pictures of my latest works of heart.

This is another "Boo" knit (becoming my favorite shawls to knit) called "Rainshine".  I call mine "Falling Droplets".  The colour of this one is magical.  I love it and it was a joy to knit.
As you can see from the above photo I've fallen off my diet....or I ceased to keep losing weight.  I blame it on the fact that I'm on my umpteenth attempt at quitting smoking.  Honestly, why don't they just stop making these cancer sticks and then it would be so much easier to quit.  The temptation is too much sometimes.

I happened across a designer's forum page on Ravelry (Andrea Black) and was immediately taken with a sweater she had designed "Mary Mary".  I loved it.  She needed testers.  I put my hand up.  What was I thinking???  I haven't knit a sweater for about 15 years. YIKES.   And so  "Rollin in Clover" was born.  I think if I was to do it again, I would knit it one size smaller.  It fits, but it is loose and I think it should be snugger.  I'm pleased with my knitting abilities.  It's just knit one, purl 1 isn't it...oh yeah, throw in the odd yarn over and you're all set....easy peasy..

So, sweater done and my new friend Andrea (the designer..keep up will you) then came out with a new shawl "Kyra"....I LOVED it and put up my hand again to test knit it.  Andrea was so overwhelmed by my talent with "Mary Mary" that she immediately jumped on the chance of having me do another test knit for her.  "Trippin on Caravan" was born.  In case you're wondering the names I have given my projects don't really mean anything.   For the sweater, I used Madeline Tosh Merino Light in the colour "Clover"..hence the name "Rollin in Clover".  For the shawl, I used Tosh Merino Light again in the colour "Caravan"....well, you get the idea.

Ravelry is this magical place, sort of like facebook for knitters.  Kind of like walking into "Cheers" (the bar) and feeling right at home.  Not everyone knows your name, but you can easily find lots of friends, or at least people that think the same way you do. It just takes a little effort to make some connections.  It's wonderful talking to someone who doesn't think it's strange that you have almost 100 skeins of yarn that you really don't have any plans for, or that you say you'll knit along with every project you see and start knitting in your sleep to keep up.  It's nice to know that others keep knitting even when their wrist is sore or their shoulders ache.  Must get this done by my self imposed deadline.   

Sometimes wishing for things can really make them happen.  Quite a few months ago I told my husband that I needed to find some knitting buddies.  I needed some cool knitting friends to share my dreams with or to just show off my latest project to.  Then I started talking on Ravelry and the rest is history.  I've met a group of extraordinary women and we've formed our own little piece of Ravelry in the form of a forum.  Next year we are planning to meet in New Hampshire in a small town where we are going to learn to dye yarn.  It's much more then that though and we all know it.  It'll be a weekend of really getting to know each other, laughing a lot and maybe even lifting a few glasses of wine and toasting us.  After all, the cyber world is fun, but it's not real is it?  Future trips are being spoken of as well, maybe closer to home.  It's all good.  Now to find a way to make lots of money to afford these trips.  And I do have lots of friends at home, only most of them don't knit and look at me funny when I talk about knitting.  Most of them would rather be out doing some form of exercise or throwing together some fancy dinner or even doing housework (YIKES), knitting, not so much.

Back in April I decided to take another Craftsy Course by Laura Nelkin.  It was Laura's first class "Mastering Lace Shawls" that made me a knitting maniac, so I thought I'd go one stop further and take her knitting with beads class.  Last night I finished the shawl - Accola - that I started back then.  Accola and I have had a love hate relationship.  right now I love it, but a week ago.....not on your life.

I really did not like knitting this one AT ALL.  BUT, having said that, I have learned a lot so I'm really glad I took the course.  I've learned how to make nupps...hundreds and hundred of frickin stupid nupps.  But, now I'm a nupp expert so I'm happy and they are kinda cute.  I've learned how to pick up stitches.  I hate picking up fricking stitches, but now I know how to do it and I'm an expert.  I've learned how to threads hundreds of beads onto a ball of yarn and continually slide them along as you knit from said ball until you hit a knot and have to remove all the beads and re-thread them onto the yarn.  I hate this form of beading...but I'm an expert at it now so all is good.  I have found the perfect method of attaching beads with a correct size (this is really important) crochet hook and I love it... .6mm thank you very much.   I've also learned how to put a bead onto what you're knitting using dental floss.  I like doing this much better then flossing my teeth but not as much as hooking with the crochet hook.  I've become a knitting expert extraordinaire... 

I still have to give my Accola a bath and block her all out but I must show you a sneak peak of her..

I'll come back and add a final picture after she's blocked (this picture was taken even before I added the border along the top with fricking picked up stitches)

I've also been working on a shawl for my sister.  She picked out the wool and the pattern and I gotta say that I don't know if I'll allow this again when volunteering to knit something for someone.  They'll get a choice of colour and that's it....the rest will be up to me.  It's not that it's been horrible to knit it (but it's not finished yet and I started it in June and after I started it I made all the stuff above so you get the picture)  Here's a teaser.  I'm actually further along but I'd need to take another picture and I'm not sure where I've put this right now.  Don't tell my sister ok.

I'm also knitting another Boo Knit...This will be my 3rd.  This one is Dare to Dream.  This is just a taste.  They really don't look like much till they are done.

And that's all I know for now.

There's lots of other stuff going on in my life right now but for this entry I'm just sticking to the knitting....You should be happy as I could just go on and on and on....

Till next time...

Thursday, May 31, 2012

Knitting Knitting and More Knitting

To say I've become obsessed is putting it mildly.

I can't believe it's been so long since I last posted on my blog.

I've been knitting up a storm.  I finished knitting my Peacock Feathers Shawl (seems like ages ago)

I've started some projects, abandoned some others and finished some too.  I joined a group on Ravelry in May with Madeline Tosh Lovers called "Mad May".  I can't believe it but I managed to knit TWO whole shawls in one month.


Promise Me - by Boo knits

My Wonderful Step Mother Marge

My step-mother Marge turned 94 on May 14th.  She's an amazing woman.  I've known Marge my entire life as she was a dear friend to my mother since they were teens growing up in Toronto.  They both married and remained friends.  As a child I have fond memories of both the families getting together for summer holidays.  We would rent cottages in the Bala area of Ontario (cottage country) and wile away the summer days swimming, catching frogs, eating hot dogs and for me colouring on the picnic table for hours on end.

Marge in the top photo
 Me, My Mom, Marge and Percy in the 2nd one
Me Doug and Patti with Marge off to the left in the 3rd one
 Me, Doug (Marge's Youngest son) and my sister Patti in the bottom
These photos were from the mid 1950's
My Mother, Marge and Me (Probably around 1958 or 59)

Sadly my mother became ill at an early age and passed away at age 53.  My father eventually remarried but the marriage didn't last.  Marge and her husband Percy faded away from our family for several years until her husband also took ill and passed away.  My father got reaquainted with Marge and her family at this time and after Percy's death became close friends with Marge which eventually led to marriage. 

Dad and Marge were a match made in heaven and we were all happy for them.  They were together for almost 10 years till Cancer took my father.  It's so hard to believe that was 17 years ago now.  Marge has remained very important in my life.  Sadly I live on the West Coast now and Marge lives in Ontario so I don't get to see her as often as I would like.

In March she was visiting her son Doug who now lives in Mexico when she had a minor stroke.  He took her home to Ontario where she appeared to be improving.  I decided it was time to go home for a visit to see Marge.  While I was there, she had another stroke and a minor heart attack.  Marge is an extemely strong willed woman and has not let this defeat her.  With loving family members all around her she has come through this.

Marge has always said she will make it to 100 and if she gets her wish, that may just happen.  I'm just happy she has always been a part of my life.

Dylan's Grad - part TWO

Yesterday Greg and I went to see Dylan get his second degree (first was Biology, second one is Accounting) from UBC.    He's a great step-son and I'm so very proud of him.

Dylan with his girlfriend Megumi.  They have also become engaged and so we'll be having a wedding in the family probably next summer. 

That's it for now....I'll try and make sure I Blog at least once a month from now on...

Cheers..and one stitch at a time


Thursday, February 16, 2012

More Knitting

The knitting bug is still with me.

Sadly, I had to abandon the green sweater (my unstable Audrey - maybe I should have called it something else).  It was turning out too big and I spotted a considerable error, so I will be unraveling it and either using the wool for another project or restarting with smaller needles or a smaller size...I'm not quite sure yet.  It kind of depressed me as I had got quite far, so I've decided to just wait and think about it for awhile.

In the meantime I started another sweater.  This one is by designer Elsebeth Lavold and is called "Tilia".  I am knitting it in her wool called Silky Wool in a brilliant Blue.  Blue is not normally a colour I choose for myself but it was on sale and I'm a sucker for sales.

 Not too far along yet, but a good start.

I ended up giving the shawl I made in the light green cashmere to my daughter in law (well, my almost daughter in law)...she loved it and it looks great on her.
She's not bored, just tired..

I have got sidetracked from the sweater by another project from Laura Nelkin.  She's the designer I took the course from to learn Lace knitting.  I signed up for a Mystery KAL (Knit-a-long) for a design called "Kinetic".  It's a shawl type item but also has beads all through it.   It's going to be gorgeous, but is proving to be quite a challenge.  The beads just won't behave all the time and just when I think I've got it, I make a mistake and have to tink back to my lifeline.  I'm not very far along (hey, it's not a race) and I've found I can only knit during the day when I'm all alone as it takes a lot of concentration.  Any distractions means more mistakes for me.  It sounds frustrating but it really isn't.  I'm expanding my brain...ha ha..

The beads are beautiful...there are lots of colours in them but sadly the picture just doesn't do them justice.  Hopefully by my next update, I'll be further along.

Since I have given away the 2 shawls I made with the course, I needed one for myself.  I've started knitting a Fiddlesticks pattern called "Peacock Feathers Shawl" and I'm loving it.  This is what I've been knitting in the evenings.  I'm using Madeline Tosh Merino Light wool in the colour Saffron.  The colour is amazing.  I really like the colours of fall and luckily they are the colours I look best in.

I pulled this out and pinned it so you can see the pattern emerging

Update on Chelsea's Project

I am starting to receive the completed squares for Chelsea's Project.  I have 7 of them now and they all look stunning.  13 more to go.  I can't start putting them together until I get them all though and we're thinking that probably won't happen till around June nowl  Once I get all 20 squares I'll be going to the fabric store to find a fabric to separate them with and then a complimentary border print....and then'll be sewn together, quilted and then shipped off to Chelsea's mom in New Orleans.

My amazing son

A few posts back I wrote about how Greg and I were travelling home from Utah and stopped in Mt Vernon Washington to see if we could find Richard who was Riding in the "Ride to Conquer Cancer" from Vancouver to Seattle.  This was in June of 2011.

Well, he's doing it again this year and decided to make a video to try and raise awareness and sponsors for the event.  This video is one of the funniest things I have seen on You-Tube (Ok, I'm a little partial because it's my kid, but what the heck)...You MUST watch it !!!!..It'll put a smile on your face and will make you laugh...and if you are feeling generous follow the link right under it and make a donation if you want to (anything, even $5 is appreciated) donation required to watch this video though.  He made it all himself and said it was a lot of fun...  I love the end shot...

Don't let the title fool you, it's a tongue in cheek look at fitting in practicing while dealing with the day to day activities we all have.

Till next time.....

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

More Knitting as the Temperature Dips

WOW, it is COLD.....It snowed Friday night and has been snowing off and on since.  They are saying that we will get really dumped on come Thursday night.  Who are 'They' anyway and how do they know so much???

I just know that I hate the cold.  I don't like going out in it and all I want to do is wrap myself up in a cozy quilt and knit or stitch.

I'm kind of behind here.  Since my last entry I've knit another shawl.  It was the clarus shawl again, only this time in a 100% cashmere wool from Colourmart in a lace weight.  I've had the wool for years as I bought it one other time when the knitting urge struck me.  It's a beautiful color...a light mossy green with a cream coloured strand.  It was different knitting with this wool as it's industrial and has never been washed, so it feels kind of rough and smells a bit like oil while you're knitting, but after a lovely little bath it softens right up and is oh SO SOFT and gorgeous!!!!!  I love it...
This was it right after knitting...doesn't look like much

On the Blocking Boards after it's bath

Lovely Drape

Close up Detail

My only regret with this is that I made the smaller size and now I wish that I'd made the big one.  I do have enough wool to do it again though, so I may just do that.  I think I'm going to wash the wool first this time though, so it feels better to knit with.

While I'm on this roll I thought I should try knitting a sweater this time.  I picked out a pattern called "Audrey in Unst" which I saw on and also saw it made up in Debbie Bliss Baby Cashmerino which I just happen to have.

Here's the start...lots and lots of twisted ribbing which took forever it seemed.  I love the color of this wool.  It's a great emerald type green.  I'm still not sure about the wool.  It gives great stitch definition, but every little pull on the wool shows up (like how cotton does) and I'm not sure I like that as it usually doesn't look really nice for a long time.

The Ribbing

Baxter - who gives me all that extra "fiber" I need in the wool

Jan 16, 2012 - Slow but sure...I have to keep reminding myself that I'm woring the backs and both sides as one, so of course it's going slow....It feels all squishy...It's supposed to be a light weight wool, but it sure feels like it'll be nice and warm.

I've also been working on 'my' square for Chelsea's project.  By itself it doesn't look like much, but I've received 3 finished squares already and it is starting to look like something.  Only 16 more squares to have come in....

Here's my square
Not a lot left to do, just some fiddly stitches here and there

Jillians Square from New Zealand

Maricel's Square from California

Melissa's Square from Texas

It's going to be a wonderful experience putting them all together...can hardly wait to start that process.

Had a wonderful Christmas this year.  It was only going to be my husband, my 28 year old son and I this year and I was a little worried that between Christmas Eve to Boxing Day we'd run out of things to talk about, but some good friends invited us to their home for dinner.  We used to be neighbours and my son Richard actually used to babysit for them.  They were having a few couples over as well who also didn't have large families to share Christmas with.  We all brought a dish (I brought my delicious Cauliflower with Proscuitto Ham and Swiss Cheese and lots of garlic - always a hit) and a "Bumbleberry" pie.   We knew everyone (all 17 of them) and had a wonderful time.
To thank Lisa for hosting the Christmas Extravaganza I made the decision to gift her with the shawl I'd made previously.  I'd shown it to her prior to Christmas and she loved it.  Since she's a red head I knew it was the perfect colour for her.

We also spent New Years Eve with this same couple.  We've spent New Years Eve with them almost every year since 2000 and it's become kind of a tradition.  Good friends are so good to have.  New Years eve was more low key with just the four of us and we spent the night eating fondue.  YUMMMY

The parties don't seem to be ending though and this past Saturday night we went out (once again with the same friends) to help celebrate her 50th birthday.  We went to a great Greek restaurant that has a live band and dancing and had a wonderful night.  Another friend was also celebrating his 61st birthday.  It helps that we're all crazy and had a good time despite the snow that was falling.

Greg and I

The Birthday Girl and her hubby

The Birthday Boy and his wife

The Birthday Girl Lisa, is also my gym buddy and although she looks sweet in the picture above, she cracks the whip and helps keep me going to the gym.  I guess that's a good thing.

Till next time...