Wool in my soup

I am a 67 year-old grandmother living on Vancouver Island. I have crocheted, cross-stitched and rug hooked, but I always had yarn on needles. Recently knitting has become my primary hobby!

Location: Canada

Saturday, July 29, 2006

Looking at my Saturday Sky with EGG on my face!

Today is overcast with a very nice breeze. A perfect day for sailing, so I am sure our little harbour is busy with boats dashing to and fro. It has cooled off here after a rather warm spell, so it is a welcome relief!

Now for the EGG on my face! I emailed, phoned, begged, sniveled, etc. about my shortage of Silk Stream for Clapotis - once known as "Clapped Out", but now it is okay! Yipee - I think it was Robyn from Red Bird Knits who pointed out to me that I could shorten it before starting the decrease portion of the shawl! Did I read that bit before or during the knitting - maybe, perhaps, not sure, doubtful - whatever fits! Anyway, she became my guardian angel by saying she read in the pattern that I could shorten it! Dah! I did frog back several rows before the decrease bit and now I am happily knitting again. I don't know why I didn't sit down and re-read the pattern, but sometimes other eyes see things we don't see! Thank you, Robyn!

I am including a picture of Cardoon that is blooming in my garden! It reminds me of those fibre optic lamps and trees, but I love the colour of the 'filaments'. It stands over eight feet tall and has another large Cardoon standing beside it. I babied them through last winter, but those big plants are on their own this winter. One I did not baby is a reasonable size!! What looks like water in one photo is actually the street! Lived very near the ocean once, and would love a view of it, but never again want to have to hose down the windows at least once a week due to salt spray! There are even slight problems in what we think of as Paradise!

Friday, July 28, 2006

My Prayer to the Knitting Goddess!

Oh, Oh, Oh, and why did it happen to me - I am short about 15 yards of Fleece Artist Silk Stream for my Clapotis! Please dear Goddess could you find time to help me in my hour of need. I promise I will not call on you too often - I always buy one ball extra, but this yarn is $45.00 a skein and I thought you might think it excessive to buy an extra skein at that price. Please save me from frogging a Clapotis that is one-half hour away from completion. I know, if you look closely, my tension is tighter for the last two inches or so. What is a girl to do? I was trying to make the Silk Stream go further and maybe, maybe, maybe, I just might have enough!

I have written to Fleece Artist at www.fleeceartist.com and also to Beehive Wool Shop in Victoria, BC (where I purchased the yarn) and my best help so far has been Deb at http://notprettytowatch.blogspot.com/ I do know how to make links, but when you type with your fingers crossed and hands raised in prayer to the Knitting Goddess, it is difficult to do everything.

And here for the Knitting Goddess are pictures of the yarn I need 15 yards of - if I have to, and only if I have to, I will buy an entire new skein. Did I say that? Must be the tearing out of my hair doing it, cause frogging a Clapotis that is almost finished is too much to think of just now!

Now dear Knitting Goddess (by the way what is your name?) I will even rename my Clapotis after you and make sure all who see my newly named Clapotis know how wonderful, gracious, restful, beautiful, peaceful and most of all HELPFUL you are to knitters who truly believe!

Wednesday, July 26, 2006

This is one of the reasons I have a knitting blog!

I wrote in my blog a few days ago about the over abundance of stitch markers used in knitting Clapotis. Well, Dicentra from Creekside Knitting blog left a comment on my blog and said that if I took away the markers and purled the stitch after the marker, that it would work. I did that and still did the WS in the same stitch pattern and it works!! Now I have tried to connect to Dicentra, but it just does not seem possible and I thank her now for this hint! A few stitch markers is okay, but 17 at one time on 101 stitches is way too many for me. The stitch that you purl on the RS is the stitch you drop and make the 'ladder', so changing it from a knit stitch to a purl stitch changes nothing in the end product, but makes knitting so much easier and pleasurable. I hope you can see the 'purled' stitch - it becomes a garter stitch, as you purl the stitch on both sides of the work!

Would I have thought of this on my own - probably not, so having someone point it out was again, one of the reasons I blog! Just reading other blogs has taught me so much and so I will keep on blogging and reading!

Saturday, July 22, 2006

Saturday Sky!

It is beautiful here today, but very warm. It appears to be that way all over North America and Europe! I will not complain about the heat, as our son and DIL are in Oklahoma City and it was 109 degrees there on Thursday. There is a grape vine sticking out from our pergola, which I was standing under when I took the photo!

Looked warm for the Tour de France today, but Floyd came back big time. I did not have a favourite, but when he came back from his disastrous day on Thursday to be up at the top on Friday, I knew who I would cheer for. Go Floyd!

Taking a little break from knitting today and doing some reading! Tired of all the stitchmarkers on Clapotis, so I cast on a cotton 'strawberry' hat for a little girl!

Monday, July 17, 2006


I have been reading many blogs now for a long time and it seemed there were three patterns that everyone was knitting - Jaywalker Socks - knit 2 pair so far; Tivoli - maybe; clapotis - finally saw one and thought why not! I must admit that I do not have any stitch markers, so safety pins to the rescue.

Here is my version of Clapotis knit with Fleece Artist Silk Stream

Standing on the scarf is a snowman I am making for my DIL. I bought a kit from Sealed With a Kiss that was put together by Wool in the Woods (www.woolinthewoods.com) and he (the snowman) has been fulled. He needs a bit of a trim, some eyes, mouth and then knit a tonque and scarf! Oh yes, a bit of stuffing will help. It was an interesting knit, as you knit two semi circles, and then picked up stitches around the curved edges and knit on 4 dpns. You would decrease at his 'waist', increase for his 'chest' decrease at the 'neck' and then increase for the 'head'. You picked up stitches on the 'face and knit the little carrot nose!

I made two friends while visiting our son and DIL in Oklahoma, so I just might send them two small Canadian snowmen. They could use a snowman now, as it is over 100 degrees! Hot, Hot, Hot!

I am wondering about variegated yarns these days. I, personally, am getting a bit tired of them. I know, they make some beautiful projects, but I am starting to want plain coloured socks more and more! After a few pair of 'plain jane' socks, I will probably use variegated yarn again!

Saturday, July 15, 2006

A Beautiful Blue Sky with one persistent little cloud!

Well, it is amazing how quickly Saturday rolls around and you think about photographing the sky! From grey last Saturday to beautiful blue this weekend with a little cloud left over from the past few days!

I also finished and blocked Wool Peddler's Shawl! It took very little blocking and perhaps I might have knit it on larger needles, but I am happy with the project. I think some of the shawls are just too large for my liking and I worry about getting them caught in furniture, shrubs, etc. and pulling them when I sit on them! I wanted to have the shawl in the sunshine, but the photographer said it was easier to take it in the shade. Hard to photograph the back of a shawl you are wearing!!

I am now working on Clapotis. I feel I may be one of the few who have not knit this project. I am enjoying the knitting, just not enjoying working with so many stitch markers! As a great knitter/blogger says, "It is all about the process".

Thanks for all the great birthday wishes!

Friday, July 14, 2006

Now I am 66!

Yesterday, I celebrated my 66th birthday!

How did I get to be 66? I used to think when I was small that anyone in their 20s was old. Now I think anyone who is 20 years older than I am is old - but I want to grow to old!

If you ever have a life threatening illness or event in your life, I think you look at life and aging in a very different way. Ten years ago this October, I found a lump in my breast and to make a long story short, I was diagnosed with a breast cancer that occurs 1.25 times in every 250,000 breast cancer occurrences. However, the good thing is that with surgery you have about a 90% chance of survival.

At first, I thought if only I could live until Christmas, then it was until summer to see my son race his second Canadian Ironman. By the time late spring/early summer came, I was starting to see clearer and I thought well, if I am going to live, I want to live well. Now I had a plan - eat well, exercise, stay away from negative people and get on with the job of living! Sounds easy when I write it and look at it, but it has had its moments. I now stay away from negative people and am thankful for every day I have to enjoy!

This was not meant to be a post about sad, but one about happiness. I also decided that if I were to live five years, that I would really start to take exercise more seriously. How many prayers are made to a higher power in the delivery room, emergency room and in the middle of the night? I got serious, because I knew that I would be wanting more favours! I started swimming again 4.5 years ago, and last year on my 65th birthday, I swam 3 miles non-stop. Now I have met that goal, so I am swimming 80 lengths in a 25 metre pool three times a week. 80 lengths = 1.25 miles.

I think we all need to life our lives to the fullest; challenge ourselves from time to time - even knitting projects that we think are difficult - the feeling of satisfaction is so good for our soul. Never say never, say probably!

I will end this disortation by saying - Never say - "I hate growing OLD!" - the alternative SUCKS!!

Wednesday, July 12, 2006

Wool Peddler's Shawl moving right along!

Here is a photo of the shawl I started this past weekend. As I mentioned, we are going to lots of jazz concerts, so lots of time to sit and knit.

Here is the detail of the 'lace' part. I accidentally changed the pattern a bit, but once I made the 'error', I kept it that way and unless I told you, you would probably never know!

I just did something I have never done before while knitting with a circular needle on a shawl. I did not 'turn' and go back the other way. I 'joined' the shawl - wouldn't you think I would notice that I was doing a yo when the previous yo had not been knit! NO, NO and NO! I just was merrily knitting along and when I had done about 260 stitches, I realized the error of my ways. I am just reverse knitting one step at a time. I did not want to pull out the needle and tear it all back, as there is a yo, (sl1, k2tog, psso) yo - that would be tricky to pick up, I think, if I were just to pull out the needle and then pick up the stitches. The way I am doing it may seem longer, but I think the other way would be even longer!! I am sure I am not the first person to do something like this, but I am sure it will be a while before I do it again!!

Just in case you think I do not really care for red, I am including a photo of my new dishes on a tablecloth I made to go with them. They also look great on a lime green tablecloth and I want to get a nice Christmas green tablecloth. My favourite colour happens to be RED!

Tuesday, July 11, 2006

Wool Peddler's Shawl!

I am currently knitting the WPS. It has been an easy knit - row upon row of garter stitch, perfect for knitting at jazz concerts! Now I am on to the 'lacy' part and I found the directions a bit confusing. However, I looked it over and then just went for it - seems to be working out.

You know, knitting patterns are a lot like recipes. Some are not written for the inexperienced knitter or cook. You must be able to read a lot between the lines! I am not saying the pattern is poorly written, but just that there is 'writing' between the lines that only comes from experience.

Would you believe I have never knit a Clapotis? Well, I think that may be the next project. I had been mulling over what to knit with the Fleece Artist Silk Stream and at one point it was going in favour of the Flower Basket Shawl, but that would have left a lot of yarn over and perhaps not enough left to make something else. I was reading My Daily Distractions blog and she was knitting a Clapotis, so the idea hit me that Silk Stream would be perfect for that project! Sometimes while knitting one project, we come up with plans for another and often letting the yarn stew a bit on the shelf makes for a better project!

Saturday, July 08, 2006

Grey Saturday Sky!

Here is the photo of our sky this morning. Did you ever have an event in your community that when it occured, you could be sure of clouds and/or rain and/or a storm. Well this weekend in my community is Music Fest and so the sky is cloudy. The headline singer this year is Peter Yarrow of Peter, Paul and Mary fame. I hope the sky holds its rain until Monday when the Fest is over. We are busy with two Pacific Jazz Camp music students billeted at our house from July 2 until July 15. We have gone to two gigs/concerts so far and have four more to attend for this session. On July 16, we get two more students for the orchestral portion of the camp. Then we will attend about six or seven sessions of classical music. There is also a musical theatre camp involved in this organization and it is putting on 'Guys and Dolls' so that is on the slate. We will also attend 'The Taming of the Shrew' and 'Kiss Me Kate', as part of Showcase Theatre which is run by Jeff Hislop of Phantom of the Opera Fame. "Cats" is being produced by a local summer theatre group for kids, and so tickets must be purchased for that event. We may be a small town, but July and August are filled with music and we love it.

Here is my yarn purchase for the Tutti Frutti hats for children. I have placed them on the wonderful deep pink bags that all yarn comes in from my LYS. The cotton on the left is a wonderful red for a strawberry or watermelon. The cotton on the right is a beautiful orange for a pumpkin. The yarn across the top is a beautiful dark green for leaves and stems.

Maybe some other knitters could show what bags their LYS uses for those wonderful fibery purchases.

Thursday, July 06, 2006

Picchu Picchu is completed - Hooray!

Here I am in the garden wearing Picchu Picchu! The sleeves are a bit long, so I turned the cuff over! Not a problem and I know I have shrunk in height, but even sweaters in stores are now longer in the sleeves, and pants are longer in the legs. Is it me, or do others find the same thing! Anyway, I loved PP when I first saw it and I still do!

I knit it with Ultra Alpaca and it is very, very warm. Once fall and winter arrive, it will get a good wearing! My DH and I attend many things that are perfect for wearing a nice pair of black pants and a top/blouse. The sweater will be a wonderful addition and the only real problem is the fact that it is a bit 'itchy' and I will need to wear a long-sleeved top under it! I really like the button - my DIL helped me choose it and she was right - the sweater needed the statement of a perfect button! No more sweater knitting this summer, unless it is a baby sweater!

I got some valuable help today from Kelly of Celtic Cast On
One of the reasons I blog is to show my work and learn about knitting. The other reason is to learn how to navigate around my computer. Thanks, Kelly, for the help!

I CONFESS!! I broke my promise - and has only been two days! I wanted to knit a little strawberry hat for a friend's granddaughter and I only had wool! Cannot have a summer hat in wool, so I bought some wonderful cotton in red and also a green for the stem and leaves. While looking at the red and green, I saw a wonderful orange - got to make a pumpkin hat too! My resolve was not very strong!

I found out about another blogger here in my town from Brenda of Close To My Heart who lives north of me - about a half-hour drive. Lisa of My Daily Distractions
is the blogger in my town - how did I make this so confusing. Anyway, we three bloggers/knitters are trying to set a date to go visit Shelley at Fun Knits on Quadra Island for a visit/shop! Now you can see my dilemma - how could I go to the shop with two new friends and not buy something as a memory of our first time together. Any knitter worth her salt will understand my problem and know the solution to said problem instantly!

Tuesday, July 04, 2006

Picking up 193 stitches on a neck!!

I am at the point of having to pick up 193 stitches for the ribbing of the neckline of Picchu Picchu! Believe me, I have done it once, realized that I did the three-needle bind off on the sleeves the wrong way - tore off the neckline ribbing (only one row completed) and then took out the ##)%(#* seams on the sleeves, put them onto the two needles, and with the WS facing did the bind off! I like it much better and am glad that I spent a beautiful summer evening correcting the mistake before it bugged me even more. No one else would have realized that it was wrong, but I would and I matter most!

I think my doing all this frogging is a sign of my age and maturity - that sounds like I am ancient! Well, I don't feel it, but before I might have settled for the way I had done it - would have had the nice cast off pattern on the top sleeve seam inside the sweater! Now, I am happy with the process, but I want to feel when the sweater is done that I did my best and when I am complimented (surely hope I will be) that I feel proud of my work! When you have put over $60.00 into the yarn, new wooden needles, etc., you hope for a superior product - at least I do!

So, today I will pick up the 193 stitches again and proceed. I did come up with a way to spread the stitches out evenly, what I thought was clever anyway. Between the shoulder seams and the front edge, I marked the seam and front edge with a safety pin, folded the work in half- place another pin, then fold this pin mark to the other pin at seam/front edge and place a pin. Now the area is divided in quarters - simply divide the number of stitched (68 - 1/4 =17) and pick up 17 stitches between each set of pins. The back edge requires 57 stitches, but I divided the same way with safety pins and tried for 14 stitches between pins and added the extra stitch at the centre back. Hope this makes sense, but I had lots of time while knitting stockinette to figure out this problem. I am sure some clever knitter long before me did this, but I had to re-invent the wheel! After the neck ribbing, I cast on at each of the sleeve edges and knit more ribbing. Sew up the side and underarm sleeves, make a crocheted hook for the fabulous button, block a bit more and wait for cool weather to wear it.

I think I will then start the Icarus shawl in the latest Interweave Knit out of the Fleece Artist Silk Stream I bought on the trip with my daughter to Victoria. It is shown in my May posts.

I took the time yesterday to move my yarn stash and books. I have been a 'hooker' - the type of rugs hooked with what looks like a crochet hook and had two large shelving units full of wool fabric for hooking. I have put the hooking aside for the time being, so I got a couple of totes and cleared one unit, put the totes in the crawl space and moved my stash to the shelving unit in our activity room - computer, sewing machine, cutting table, etc. along with my stash. I made myself a promise yesterday to not purchase anymore yarn until the new year! Oh my, I may regret that promise!

Here is a photo of one of my hooked rugs, so you get the idea of what a 'hooker' with a 'stripper' can produce. The stripper has blades and cuts the fabric in various widths depending on the mat or rug you are hooking.

For any bloggers who read my blog, those three churches are very famous in Mahone Bay, NS. I try when on holiday to bring back something of my current craft to be a memory of the trip. Just might have to forget my promise to not buy yarn until 2007! Did I say that?

Saturday, July 01, 2006

Happy Canada Day from a very proud Canadian!

Here is my Saturday Sky contribution! See the Canadian flag flying on my house! It is an absolutely beautiful day here today. We have eaten both meals so far out in the garden and tonight we will have dinner outside and raise a glass to our country! We will probably also raise a glass to the USA on July 4th - anymore countries with holidays that want us to raise a glass - just let me know. We brought home a bottle of Texas wine from our holiday, so perhaps that will be the glass contents on the 4th.

I went to my LYS this week to pick up some needles, as I mentioned, and who could resist cotton yarn on for $2.00 a ball. Here it is in its goodness!

I read on Yarn Harlot's blog about caps for babies to encourage mom's to breast feed. Well, now I have the pattern and some yarn!

Enjoy the remainder of the weekend.

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