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

Friday, March 30, 2007

It was one week ago today ...........

Before I show you some of the samples I got last week at the retreat, I wanted to show you two of the Rib Warmer vests that I knit for gifts. The colour on the right does not show up well, as it is a lovely soft mauve colour! They are just the best project to take in the car or to knit while watching TV. I have two more to knit in this same yarn - one in a denim blue and one in a lovely milk chocolate brown. By then, I will have this pattern firmly established in my brain!

Now on to last weekend!

Yes, it was one week ago today that I was getting settled in at Camp Homewood and today I thought about the weekend. I thought I would share some of the samples we received on the Saturday afternoon.

Sample 1 - Mango Moon Recycled Silk from Nepal. These yarns are made by women who are living in some very bad situations. The saris are made into yarn that we can buy and some of the money goes to help these women. I would have thought it would be a much 'stiffer' yarn, but it is lovely and soft! I certainly plan to buy some to make a scarf or something. Anything that helps underprivileged women is something I want to participate in!

Sample 2 - also from Mango Moon - Bali Sky and is 100% Viscose. Now this is not a man made fiber as such. Viscose comes from wood fiber and is again from recycled clothing and also from Nepal

Sample 3 - Corn yarn - 100% Corn and from China. Corn has a naturally high amount of starch in it. The Corn yarn is formed from a superfine strand of fiber that has been knit into a tube. It's a relaxed enough fiber that the tube collapses on itself, producing a flat strand of yarn that look remarkably similar to homemade pasta. It is hard wearing and very easy to care for and it can be machine washed and dried. It is relatively new on the market and its uses haven't been fully explored as of yet. I was thinking - not that I would knit them for me - about the undies that were in the Spring IK - remember the thong! The yarn has a slight dried-corn smell - not unpleasant, and has that feel of cornstarch!

Sample 4 - 100% Soy and again from China which is made from the residue of soybeans from tofu manufacturing. The process is 100% natural. Soy is eco-friendly and is biodegradable. The United States is currently the largest exporter of soybeans in the world. I have not knit with as yet!

Sample 5 - Bamboo - 100%- another eco-friendly yarn that is biodegradable. I have a ball of this to knit and just now I love to feel it. It is a yarn that always has a 'cool' feel to it. It is unusual for its breathability and coolness. It is great to wear and I can see that this will be more and more available in the market place!

Sample 6 - Malibrigo - 100% Merino wool from Peru. This is delicious - need I say more!

I think these samples (there are 19 more to show you) are invaluable to me. I can knit up to try for gauge, wash them, see if they suit my project and then simply frog them; order the amount I need and I just rewind my sample.

We were given sheets with the corresponding numbers and the facts on the different yarns! Some of these are not available in our LYS here, but in the fullness of time - who knows!

Thursday, March 29, 2007

Just bits of this and that!

I thought I would show you some of the beautiful hats that Roger, who was on the retreat this past weekend, knits. His wife spins and dyes the yarn and then Roger knits these beautiful hats. He gives - yes, that is correct - he gives them to the boys about the Island he lives on and the men and boys (probably women too) who go out on the boats love the warmth. You can see that with 100% wool and layers being made by the patterns that they would be warm. He has knit a Bohus patterned hat, but unfortunately I did not get a picture of it. Roger's wife was there, but she is not as in to knitting as Roger is and so it nice that their skills compliment. They live on an Island between Vancouver Island and the mainland that is accessible only by private boat. If you need large items, such as lumber, appliances, trucks, etc. moved to the island, a barge can do that for you!

I wondered how Roger and his wife felt when they returned home. Their island is home to about 50 people and with the staff at the camp and knitters we were about 50 in number. Can you imagine the over stimulation of that many people in a small place to Roger, who probably may go a day or two and see no one but his wife !Just had to include this photo of my friend, Charlotte. On Saturday evening for dessert, the staff brought out a large tray of fresh fruit - some strawberries as large as plums - and in the centre was a lovely bowl of melted chocolate! I loved watching Charlotte as she enjoyed this delight. Remember being able to eat just anything you wanted and the word calorie never entered into your mind!! Young people make us remember the world anew and also give us delight to watch them enjoy their world! I have two delightful granddaughters and a step-grandson, and it is wonderful watching them as they make their way in the world. My family enjoys a chocolate or butterscotch fondue too!!
I just had to share this little story. It was on my Stitch 'N Bitch calendar for today!!

Knit Bit

Oil spills threaten the lives of many sea creatures, among them the "fairy penguins" that live near Melbourne, Australia. Experts have found that wrapping the penguins in wool sweaters helps keep them alive! It prevents them from preening themselves and possibly ingesting the harmful chemicals contained in petroleum-based oil, while also keeping them warm until their bodies can regenerate natural oils. After a spill in 2000, knitters all over the world donated their time and extra yarn to aid the Australian penguins in need. The penguins received thousands of sweaters, which not only kept them healthy but also served as a welcome wardrobe change from the been-there, done-that tuxedo.

I love the story, and since I have a quirky side to me, I could just hear the conversations among the penguins!! There would be great discussion about the colours, pattern and yarn. I wonder how much effort was involved in getting the 'sweaters' on the penguins and if they just let them 'fall' off or wear out! I can imagine a sweater knit from the wools used in Ganseys would last for ever! Jo, the wonderful Irish Bainin you sent to me would be perfect, if you wanted to knit a 'penguin' sweater. However, the fashionable 'fairy penguin' might like the yarn to go into the dye pot for a beautiful mix of colours. Wonder what is fashionable in the penguin world these days?

I can just hear one penguin, "Do you think these stripes make me look fat?"

Wednesday, March 28, 2007

I am busy next March 28 to 30!!

Oh Shelley's blog today, she announced that she has made arrangements with Camp Homewood to have the facility for next March 28 - 30! I sent off a post right away and said sign me up. She has not set the price, but this retreat proved to me that another one would be priceless!! It is just the most beautiful setting, Shelley and staff have a hard act to follow after this year, but I know they will come up with something to fulfill all our wishes and we will learn a lot from Shelley, the staff, and each other. Even if I only get that precious time to knit where the stove, washer, dryer and telephone are not interruptions, that is good knitting time for me!

This is a circular sweater that Shelley knit for her daughter, Megan. It looks different, but when it is on and the model is beautiful, it is spectacular. She even knit one for Meika, her granddaughter and we also got the pattern for the sweater for our bears!

Here is Meika in her circular sweater! What a delight this little girl is and a future knitter for sure. At this age, almost 2, her favourite words and 'No', No Way' and 'Mine'! Remember those times, if you have children! She knits with Grandma by taking the yarn and wrapping it around the needle!

I think this is such a lovely pattern, but it truly suits slim people, little girls and bears!!
In the tumble of teddies below, you can see the front view of the circular sweater on the teddy that is on top to the right. Many of the same colours appear in the bear's sweater as are in Meika's sweater. I think on Brenda's blog you will find a great photo of the group and some of our teddies on the couch with their new sweaters! Not all the teddies are present, as some gals had to leave early to catch ferries to Vancouver Island and then to the mainland!

Below are the bears with the various sweaters we could chose to knit. There is a dear little mauve cardigan which I thought had beading. It turns out that you just work a bit of 'ladder' yarn into the ribbing and a bit of the body and where the silver in the yarn and then bits of shiny colour show, it looks like beads. This sweater also included that step most of us do NOT enjoy - picking up stitches up the fronts, around the neck and ribbing or seed stitch. You also knit buttonholes in the ribbing, so you can see there were many different steps in sweater making that could be learned in making a small bear's sweater.

Oh yes, in case you wonder at the patterns of the couches - you know how you tire of that couch and buy a new one! What to do with the old one that still has some wear in it - give it to a church camp and they work a treat, as this is a large room with a huge fireplace front and centre and on the opposite wall the windows with the view!!

Tuesday, March 27, 2007

Please fellow knitters, meet Fern!

This is my bear, Fern. Since I enjoyed being with Charlotte and I love the story of Charlotte's Web, I named her after the girl in the story. Seems appropriate too, since Fern's first sweater is a lovely green! The little cables went up the sleeve and then made a saddle shoulder. There was a bit of seed stitch in the pattern and I remember that I like seed stitch. The top row of the hearts was the 'pig' row - you know how there is always a row that you are happy to have behind you in your knitting, well this is the row! I enjoyed the cables as well. Now I must look in my stash for two compatible yarns that are 100% wool and try the Norweigan sweater for Fern. Also, there is a little pattern for a top with straps - the use of a funky yarn for the top and bottom of the tube and the straps give it that added bit of bling! Then you knit a wee lacy shawl. It is getting that time of year when Fern may wish to go out in style. How can a grown adult have such fun with a teddy bear - I guess that is why they are timeless!

Friends and blog readers, please meet my new friend, Charlotte and her bear. This little sweater was knit from the top down and it is such a nice pattern for a relatively new knitter. This little bear is actually one that Charlotte brought from home, so it may already have a name. She did get a bear just like Fern, but I think her bear is a lovely cream colour. The best part is that when I opened my emails this morning I had a note from Charlotte. Oh, but my heart did a little leap! She is such a charming, gracious, funny, polite and lovely little girl, but I am sure she gets that from her parents and that her younger sister would be just as nice. Anyway, I am so happy to call Charlotte a new friend and hope we can write back and forth a bit and when I go up to Campbell River to their market or I make a trip over to see Shelley at Fun Knits that perhaps Charlotte and I can spend some time together again. I read about women and girls having friends of very different ages, and I am beginning to see that this is a very good thing! Charlotte, my friend, cherish this little bear always and keep the sweater forever. After all, it is your first sweater that YOU knit - albeit with a little bit of help!

Diane, Charlotte's Mom, is knitting a very simple pullover that is completely seed stitch. The beauty of seed stitch, I think is that it makes for a sweater that keeps its shape! I knit a little 'Chanel' type sweater for my older granddaughter when she was little. It came from a Debbie Bliss pattern book and was all seed stitch, had pocket flaps and I knit it in red!

Now knitters and bloggers, I want you to meet another new friend, Helen. Helen is 82, but just look at that beautiful face, she is so young, vibrant, funny and cheery and I liked her from the first minute we met. She told me the story of her coming to Crow's Nest Pass (in the Canadian Rockies of British Columbia) as a war bride in 1945. Her husband was still in Germany, and through a mix up of the railway's, she ended up in Calgary with no one to meet her. Her mother-in-law was in Lethbridge, Alberta, where the train was originally supposed to stop. Anyway, the kind folk looked after Helen - she would be an easy person to help, as she is so lovely - and she spent the better part of a day in Calgary - as she said she got to have a bath and do a bit of shopping. That night, she was on the train again and on her way to Crow's Nest Pass, where she was met by her FIL and his sister.

The next evening she was out at the train station awaiting her MIL, who came back from Lethbridge. For a gal who was born and brought up in Glasgow, Scotland to sail first to Halifax, NS, then get on a train and travel across Canada to BC, she must have thought that perhaps she was going to fall off the face of the earth. Helen is one of those people who 'fall on their feet' after any sort of adversity! Helen does a lot of knitting via a knitting machine and I have asked her to call me when she is going to use the machine, as I would like to see how it works - I don't want one, but want to see how it works! I hope to see Helen again next year! Oh yes, something so great as this retreat must be repeated.

I Just wanted to share some of my new friends. We need people of all ages in our lives and the enthusiasm and joy of youth and the gentleness and wisdom of age are those qualities of life I want in my heart and soul.

Guess what? Today Blogger let me use exclamation marks. What is that all about! How is a person like me to write if I cannot use all the punctuation marks - not always properly, but - it is like not being able to use your hands when you speak!!

Monday, March 26, 2007

Just a wee taste of my past weekend.

This is the wonderful view we looked out on all weekend. That is Mount Washington way off in the distance and we are on Quadra Island, which is out in Johnson Strait off Campbell River. I know, I need a better camera, but use your imagination and just know that it is spectacular. This photo is of me at home (it should be cropped, but my DH is away just now) and that is my bear with his hat. I finished him last evening. I will try to get a better close up of him in his finery. I want to make him a Norweigan Sweater that requires steeks for the sleeves. I may never make a large sweater of this style, but I want to know the technique. That is what I think is so wonderful about a retreat. You get to learn so much and can apply it in many projects. For instance, I used Sally Melville's "Knit 1" book and I like the way she does the first stitch when knitting garter stitch. In case you wish to try it, you always slip the first stitch as if you are going to purl it, take the yarn to the back and knit to the end of the row. By doing the first stitch this way, it appears as a crochet chain on the edge and it is terrific for picking up stitches or seaming your pieces. When I knit the Elizabeth Zimmerman Rib Warmer Vest, I used this method of working the first stitch and it makes a nice finished edge, which other knitters asked me about, as some thought I had crocheted the edge. That is what I mean about learning a technique and then using it in other knitting.
Here is my bear - sweet as can be, don't you think - holding the 25 samples of yarn we received at the retreat. That is one wonderful treasure he is holding and I will display them all in the fullness of time and tell you about them. I just was overwhelmed with the fact that we all now had 25 different types of yarn to try. There is enough to knit a small swatch; see if you can get gauge for a project and also launder it to see how it behaves. This to me is a treasure beyond belief and I know it will be priceless. We have a sheet with the numbers and the name and variety of yarn and then there is a little numbered tag on each sample. I will give some a try and then there is room to write notes about my findings.
This is not a terrific photo of my roomie, Brenda. She is a terrific gal from Victoria and I really enjoyed meeting with her. She owns 'Satin Moon', which is a wonderful quilt shop in Victoria and when I lived there and was actively quilting, I went to the shop many times - that was pre-Brenda.
Well laundry awaits, my weekly update to family and friends (a letter that I have been writing for about 20 years - about 5 were sent out each week at first and then they were hand written - now about 16 go via email and 8 via snail mail), a quick bit of ironing, some lick-and-a-promise type of vacuuming and then I can play with my yarn.

Guess what? I just tried to post this and they said I could not use exclamation marks. Now for any of you who have been reading my blog - this is tough. I can adjust, but it won't be the same.

Sunday, March 25, 2007

I'm Home and It Was Fabulous!!

Just a quick note to let you know I am back from my retreat. No photos just yet, but I promise I will post some in the next few days.

It was just a wonderful experience. Shelley Mackie of Fun Knits and her family and staff just put on a weekend beyond my wildest expectations. We were all given a teddy bear and six different patterns to make our bear a sweater. You could use her needles, yarn, experience and help each other. There is even a pattern for a Norweigan sweater with steeks - that is not what I tried this weekend, but I definitely am going to give it a try! How scared can you get over a project small enough to fit a teddy? Oh yes, we were all given 25 - YES 25 - samples of different yarns and a write up on each type of yarn. There is enough yarn to knit up a swatch! So you can try a yarn to see if you get gauge, or like the feel or see how it washes or just rub it on your cheek!! There is even a yarn made from corn - it has the same feel as cornstarch! I will include photos of the samples and some words on the yarns when I am less tired - but a good kind of tired.

The youngest knitter there was 11 and the oldest 82 and we had a wonderful man and his wife. The man knits the Bohus pattern on hats and other wonderful hats from his wife's handspun pure wool! Charlotte, age 11, knit a top down sweater (with minimum help from her Mom) out of a patterned sock weight yarn. The look on her face when she put it on her teddy and I took a photo made a more experienced knitter feel that our craft of knitting will be carried on by the next set of young girls. My granddaughters are becoming knitters, and that makes a Nana feel so good!

I think that is enough of a teaser for today. I met the most fun group of knitters, did not cook any meals, no telephones to interrupt, shared ideas, knitting experience, and just enjoyed the rhythm of our knitting. I am unpacked, tired, but very, very happy and my DH has planned a wonderful dinner. How did I get so lucky!!

Oh yes, a few gals who have read my blog said that I was very much like my blog! Not sure what that means exactly, but it sounded very favourable to me, and a gal takes compliments where she can get them!!

Thursday, March 22, 2007

What to do? Move or not?

I have been busy trying to decide about my blog. It may be me, but sometimes I could throttle blogger with a bit of yarn!

Anyway, here is some knitting to show!

This is the back of Cul de Sac - since this photo, I have completed the left front and am ready to cast on for the right front. I think this is the most challenging knit I have undertaken so far. On the front, you would be knitting cables on either side of the front, decreasing for the armhole and also for the front, but not on the same row! I hope to get lots of wear out of this vest, as it is certainly blessed!!

Here is another EZ Rib Warmer vest. I am knitting it for a gift and, as I write this, it is finished and another RW vest is on the needles in a soft rose. This vest looks beige in the photo, but actually it is a soft green!

I am off tomorrow to a knitters' retreat on Quadra Island - those of you who have taken a cruise ship to Alaska will go by Quadra Island on your way north! There will be 40 knitters there, so it should be fun. I am really looking forward to the weekend, as today we go to the third funeral/memorial service this month! I want to have a break and laugh and knit!! Will bring you up to date on what happens next week!

Saturday, March 17, 2007

I'm Knitting, when the rains come!

Just wanted to let you know that I may be gardening, but then the rain comes and I get some time with the needles. The dark will also send me inside to knit, but I have know gardeners who garden with a miner's lamp on their heads!

This is the Ultra Silk Berroco sweater. I am loving working with this yarn. It is so soft and buttery and does not split, as it is a tubular knit with a core of nylon! However, out of the six balls I have used, three of them have had a break and a knot! Discouraging, when you consider that this yarn was originally $13.99 a ball - lucky me, I got it for $7.00 a ball, but I am not happy about the knots. I have been knitting along and then had to frog back a row, as I like to make my joins at the beginning or end of a row.

I have the back and front completed and that is a sleeve on the top. I like the fact that the decreases for the armholes on the body and also on the sleeve are done in pattern. However, with decreases that have four rows in the pattern and then the pattern in the centre panel have four different rows, it is a knit to do when you have no distractions! The sleeve has been at the frog pond - well for just a few rows - more than once! One more sleeve - I usually knit both sleeves together, but these sleeves would probably have been my ruination if I had tried to do them together. As you can see, the sun was shining the day I took the photo and I had been out in the garden earlier!!

Friday, March 16, 2007

Gardening - one of my passions!

I have been busy in my garden - one night after five hours of gardening I was too tired to even pick up the needles!

My question to anyone who cares is - why does my mind seem so much younger than my back? I get outside and the sun warms me and the birds sing to me and the garden feeds my soul! I think I will work for an hour and then go in and knit! Well, when you are doing something you love, the time slips away and before you know it five hours have elapsed. Now I did have to come in to use the washroom, but my DH made me tea and lunch, so I sat outside in the sun and enjoyed the love!

I will post a few spring things for you and hopefully I will show some knitting in
the next few days. In our weather this morning (in our local paper) I saw clouds and raindrops for the next five days. Now that could be wrong - weather forecasting is better than it used to be, but when you live on a coast the ocean can really change the weather in a hurry!

My DH named this photo 'violets' but it is Primula Wanda and it is a great little plant - it comes back year after year, stays close to the ground, is not bothered by slugs, and is a real harbinger or spring!

The yellow Rhododendron is Haida Gold - the Haida are an Indian group on our West Coast. This Rhodo is scented - which is not so very often in the Rhodo world. It has that beautiful fresh scent of lemon and freshly cut cucumber. The shrub on the left is Fothergilla - it blooms in spring with a lovely white 'bottle brush' type of flower, but its true beauty is the colouring of the leaves in the fall - anywhere from gold to red and in between.

You can see the colour of my home in the background. Just now it is painted "California Rustic", but we are planning to paint it this year and want it to be a nice dark grey with charcoal trim and perhaps a very light grey just on the window area - our windows are wooden! We also plan to make a wider trim around the windows to take the charcoal colour. I hope to paint the front door a cranberry red! Our deck is cedar on the front, so we will leave it unpainted, as it has now reached that beautiful 'silver grey' that cedar gets and I do not fancy painting all those little spindles - which are mostly covered by shrubs!!

Oh yes, the Rhodo and Fothergilla are not in bloom just yet, but if the mild weather continues, perhaps by mid April! The bark mulch shown there was new when the photo was taken, and it is now more silver grey! Yesterday I raked all around these shrubs and many others. I try to leave the small leaves on the garden over winter. Many just decompose into the earth and I suppose some harbour 'bad' insects and slugs, but gardening is not for the faint of heart!

Sunday, March 11, 2007

My Kitchen Window

I thought I would show you what I see when I look out my kitchen window, which is over the sink. The three little vases on the right hold two varities of Helleborus! The little white pot in the centre holds a small orchid, which my DD left with me when she moved to Germany. The little bottle on the left holds two cutting from a grape ivy - I cut it back as it was getting a bit straggly and I will root these up to add to the pot! The tiny little mouse I got last year when I went to Amos Pewter's in Mahone Bay, NS. I often put him on a cheese tray for fun! The little pewter birdfeeder hanging on the inside of the window and the dove also came from Amos Pewter's. When you look outside to the right, that is my greenhouse/shed. On the left is the greenhouse and it needs a good old tidy, as it is getting time to start a few seeds and I have an old laundry tub with running cold water. I love my greenhouse and will spend many a happy hour in there soon. On the right of the building is a shed, where we store our summer furniture, extra pots for gardening and tools. The garden is a bit sleepy in the photo, but daily I can see a difference, as the plants start to grow again with the longer ours of daylight (not caused by the change to DST!!) and also the warmth of the sun! There, this is what I look out at many times a day! I tried clicking on the photo and I did get a larger image!!

I took a cooking course this week on Moroccan Cooking, and this mushroom soup is not from the course, but I had lots of mushrooms and I had cut a recipe out of the newspaper, so today seemed like the perfect day to try it. I will blend this all with my immersion blender, add some yogurt and lemon juice and make an Irish Soda Bread to round out a nice light Sunday dinner. Last evening I tried several of the Moroccan recipes from the course, and they were really tasty!

I took a few more pictures of the helleborus and wanted to show them up close. The two burgundy plants on the outside of the group come up this beautiful colour and then slowly turn to green. This helleborus, which I do not know the name of, is not as easy to get seedlings from, but I do have one in another area of the garden that seeded itself and then I moved it. This helleborus will probably never produce enough seedlings for me to give them away. However the other Helleborus - Helleborus Orientalis or Lenten Rose is prolific at giving me seedlings and I have given them away to other gardening friends and also moved them to other spots in the garden. Do you get the feeling that I love Helleborus - you are right. The real close up is of the centre of the Lenten Rose and I love the stripes and blotches. It will get a deep rose as it ages and then will develop large seed pods. I let them be until fall and this is a plant that never really needs dividing. I would say it is a real easy plant to work with in any garden.

I have been corresponding with Cornflower and I had mentioned that I love Helleborus, as she seems to, and also that I would try to cut them and bring them inside to enjoy and they would droop. Cornflower/Karen wrote that she had heard that if you cut them, put them in tepid water (and I submerged them) for 6 to 8 hours that they would not droop! Now, I know they appear to be drooping, but they are not - that is the one unfortunate property of my Helleborus - they hide their faces. This one of the things I love about blogging - so much help and so kindly given!

Here is a photo of a gardener's faith. These are sweet pea seeds and I will take them out later today and plant them. My garden always has sweet peas and I pick bunches almost daily while they are blooming. There is really nothing that can compare to the fragrance of sweet peas! I will also share a photo of some beautiful orange tulips that are gracing our dining table!

Thursday, March 08, 2007

Tete a Tete - small but beautiful!

These little daffodils, or as I call them 'daffs' are from my garden! I have only ever bought one package of the bulbs to plant, but every spring in our local grocers, there are pots of these little daffs and I bring home a pot or two and enjoy them on my table! After they give me their beautiful blooms for that spring, out they go and are dug into the garden. The offering the next spring may not be too spectacular, but after that they do give me the most beautiful show in spring.

I like them in combination with the ceramic pears. I love pears to eat, to display, to needlework, just any way at all, I love pears. My all time favourite eating pear is the Bosc pear!

I have been knitting, but not much to show for my time spent just enjoying the rhythm of the needles. Perhaps another day - I so want to start the EZ vests!

Wednesday, March 07, 2007

I know, this is really sick!!

I was in my LYS yesterday, just going by, and what is a girl to do - drop in and see what is new and what is on sale!! Well, this Sirdar Chunky wool and acrylic was on for $3.00 a ball. I looked at it and thought about that holiday at the end of December - you know the one with gift giving! I bought enough to knit four of the Elizabeth Zimmerman Rib Warmer Vests! That means that I got four vest for under $76.00 - do have to pay the tax man some! I have two GDs (age 17 & 14) and a DD and DIL, so guess what they are going to get? I have had so much fun wearing the rib warmer and so many compliments that I thought I just could not go wrong with knitting it for my girls! Also, it is easily washed, even in the washing machine, and my DD is not great in the laundry room so at least this yarn will work for her and the GDs.

I even ordered EZ's Workshop book which has the pattern in it, plus one for a friend! I am beginning to realize that I do have a thing for simple patterns and that is probably why I have such a liking for any design by Elizabeth Zimmerman or Sally Melville.

I will not cast on for the vests until the Cul de Sac or Berroco sweater are off the needles! I am voting for the Sea Foam Berroco Ultra Silk to be off the needles first. I have a friend who needs help casting on for scarves, and she is determined to knit Cul de Sac. I think once she truly sees the charts and reads the pattern, she might try a Rib Warmer instead. I have knit for a long time, and for the Cul de Sac, I had to get help on hiding the wrap on the short rows!!

Tuesday, March 06, 2007

My Version of Green Gables!

Here is my version of Green Gables. It took me a week to knit it from Debbie Bliss Cathay! I love the colour and I know it is not as snug as the original, but I prefer things a bit less revealing of my figure. I also did seed or moss stitch instead of 1x1 ribbing! I hope to get lots of wear from it this summer and now will watch for a nice black rayon/linen to make a pair of drawstring pants with a loose leg! I have some nice black sandals and a bit of jewelery to go with it - now just bring on the chilled white wine and a BBQ!

Here is another project I have on the needles. It is the Ultra Silk from Berroco I had mentioned. I love the colour and I call it Sea Foam - better than just a number; and it would also go perfectly with the black pants - maybe another pair of pants in a taupe or white would give me a couple of outfits for summer!!

This yarn, Ultra Silk, is a dream to knit with and it has terrific stitch definition. I am so pleased that the yarn went on sale, and when I was back at my LYS today they still had some white and soft blush pink on sale! No - I did not buy it, but I will show you tomorrow what I did buy!

Oh yes, I am no longer an ebay virgin! Is that too much information? Anyway, Jo, of Celtic Memory Yarns had some blue denim cotton on ebay and I was the lucky winner. Oh yes, I was also able to order some extra for a cropped cardi for summer, fall, winter and spring. Isn't it true that denim is in season all year long. When I grow old I shall wear purple and any other thing I want to!

Now off to knit!

Monday, March 05, 2007

Not just about knitting today!

I know, I started this blog because of my knitting, but I do other things in life, so I will not be just about knitting anymore! I enjoy a bit of diversity in other 'knitting' blogs, so hopefully this won't be a problem - anyway, it seems I write this blog mainly for myself, about myself and what I love! I do enjoy all those who visit and comment! I have made some good blogging friends through this adventure. How would I learn about new books; new recipes; the weather in Lapland; what young women are thinking these days; and I could go on and on! Still, it is much like keeping a bit of a journal and this is the longest stretch that I have written. I have been writing a weekly update letter to family and friends for over five years on the internet, but about 10 years before that by hand writing! I have kept all the letters I sent via email, and it is a journal of sorts!

I love to garden. I went into a shop the other day and there was the rack with seeds. I always grow sweet peas - and could not resist this package of a variety of orange/red sweet peas. I always save some from the previous year, so these should be a nice addition to the mix. Soon, I will soak the seeds in tepid water and then make a trench in the garden and plant them - they will take time, but so long as we do not have too much rain in the next month or so (who am I kidding, it is March and then April) I will have sweet peas in bloom in late June!

The other pack of seeds is double morning glories! I usually grow the beautiful blue single ones, but decided I wanted to give this new variety a try! I do not plant them early, and usually start them in pots in the greenhouse first and then transplant!

I have been knitting! I finished "Green Gables" in the beautiful raspberry cotton. It is at present blocking, so a photo will appear in a few days. I started another summer sweater in a Sea Foam Green (my name for the colour) from Berroco Ultra Silk. The sweater I am knitting was sent to my LYS as a sample! I admired it and then looked at the yarn and realized that it was a bit pricey! The sweater would have cost me over $150, but then the pattern and yarn went on for half off - I was in at the drop of a stitch and bought up the yarn. It is so wonderful to knit with and tomorrow I will show you the top in progress.

Thursday, March 01, 2007

Five things to be grateful for today!

1) I am well, as is everyone in my family
2) The sun is shining and the birds are singing
3) I have some beautiful knitting to work on
4) I have a safe home that I share with a wonderful man
5) I have beautiful Friends - what would any of us do without them?

Can you believe it? I wrote in my blog about "Pause" by Katherine Gibson, who lives down the Island from me and she found my blog and sent a comment. How neat is that?

Well last night was my book club! There are nine gals in the club and seven got together last night to discuss a book - any book - and I, of course, discussed "Pause". It turned out that one gal had read the book and the other had purchased it to read! Not bad for a small group, but then the author also sent me an email! I, of course, had sent her an email, as she has a website - www.katerinegibson.com and I wanted to tell her that I was presenting her book last evening! She emailed me back!! I heard Katherine speak at a Women's Day a few years ago and I was impressed with her then, but her attention to detail is amazing. Another thing to be grateful for - people who take a moment to answer an email when it is not expected,

I emailed Katherine today and told her of the story of my book club friend, Barb, and her DH, Terry. Terry, aged 64 or so, is in a nursing home with ALS. Barb has used positive reinforcement with Terry for many a day - Terry was diagnosed about four years ago and has the slow developing form of ALS, but at this point, he cannot move any limbs, but can move his head, swallow and talk and, of course, has his wits! Anyway, Barb mentioned that sometimes we are not sure the guys in our lives get it when we try to find positive things in day-to-day occurrences. But, she realized it was working when she had taken a trip to Scotland, brought back a little plaid book and pencil for a ten year old girl that comes into the nursing home and plays computer games with Terry. When Terry gave his computer buddy the book, he told her that he wanted her to write five things in the book everyday that made her happy! Terry is at the point in life where a visit, a hot cup of coffee (albeit drunk through a straw), wind on his face, sunshine, a smile, his computer buddy showing up - all these small things are very gratifying.

When the chips are down, as they are for Terry, money and 'stuff' don't matter - it is the little things that matter!

Now I hope I remember this everyday and think about the feel of today's sun on my back as I sip my tea and wander through my garden! Also when I pick up my beautiful raspberry cotton sweater and knit; or when I read the blogs of other gals and realize what a wonderful group of women I have come to know through this amazing world of blogging.

Photobucket - Video and Image Hosting