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

Sunday, April 15, 2007

I have been knitting!

Perhaps you thought I had gone on vacation. No, I have been knitting and reading and listening. I saw so many knitters doing Calorimetry from Knitty this past winter, and I thought it would be a good little gift for my granddaughters. I did knit them the Fetching
gloves last Christmas and they were apparently popular. I do not see them as much, as they live in Germany just now and I am in Canada.

This little set in Chartreuse - the name on the ball band - is almost identical to the pair on Knitty. To make the hat and gloves, I used 2 balls of Phildar Pegase+ and since it only cost $2.99 a ball, I think that is good value for the money. I know there is a high proportion of Acrylic in the yarn, but I never buy yarns that need extra care for teens. The tears shed over ruined garments made from those special yarns are just not worth it. The aim of the game is to give them something hand knitted by Nana that they can enjoy and Nana does not worry!! My one GD is a beautiful red head, so perhaps this set will look good with her colouring.

The yarn for this set actually looks more 'rosy' than it appears in the photo. I did not do cables on these gloves, as the yarn was just so 'fuzzy' in places, but in hindsight, perhaps the cables would be better. This is not a yarn that will frog well, I think, so straight ribbing it is!! For this set I used Phildar Midland, which also has a high percentage of acrylic. It took 2 balls that were on sale for $4.00 a ball. I do not think I would work with this yarn again - I just did not care for the fuzziness, but it looks good and I think my beautiful blond GD will enjoy this set. My family does not read my blog, although they know about it!

I have admired this soy/wool yarn from Paton's for some time, so I bought one ball and I have another Calorimetry. With this one, I did not do as any short rows, so it will not be as wide, and perhaps that will be better. I have some black yarn and I think I can eke out a pair of Fetching with the cuffs in the Paton's and the body of the glove in black. I am glad I tried this yarn on a small project, as I find it almost 'unspins' in working and is very splitty! However, it does have beautiful colourways. It is Patons SWS (Soy Wool Stripes) and is 70% wool and 30 % soy. It recommends hand washing, so perhaps this Calorimetry will live with me. It is very soft, and should be great to cover one's ears on a windy day!!

All these hats were knit with a 5 mm needle and the gloves done on 4 mm dpns. A quick and easy knit, and I can see lots of yarns in my 'charity' knitting tub that will be great for these sets.

This may be the last time I post for a bit, as I am a Friend of the Library in our Valley and next weekend is our annual sale. We ask for donations of used books from the public, sort them into categories, and then mount a 2.5 day sale. It is hard physical work, but we raised almost $19,000 last year to buy those things for the five local libraries that are not covered in the regional library system. On Vancouver Island, there is the greater Victoria library, and then all the rest of the Island and some of the Gulf Islands and even the Queen Charlotte Islands are covered by the Vancouver Island Regional Library system. Actually, I think we are very, very lucky belonging to such a large library system.

Three years ago, we got a new library in Courtenay, the city in the valley, all the others are towns or villages. We put in a gas fireplace, leather seating (most comfy) and locally made tables. We also have local artists place art on the walls above and beside the fireplace. It is a very popular area in the library, as many people go there to sit and read the daily papers.

This year, we are hoping to do something similar in the new library in Comox, the town I live in. Perhaps you can realize just how large an effort this is, when you find out that we sell all hard and soft cover books for $1.00, pocketbooks for 50 cents and all children's books for 25 cents. We do have some 'specials' and they consist of old, special, coffee table, or books of local interest. As three of the main industries/interests here are the military, logging and fishing, I am sure you can appreciate that any books on these areas are sought after and we can get a little better price. The new 'trade backs' are really starting to come in with great regularity. You might be interested to know that 'The Da Vinci Code' has about 40 copies in our 'stash'. For the past two years, the big book in was 'Angela's Ashes' - sorry Mr. McCourt, but they just do not sell now even for 50 cents! We also sell magazines ($1.00 a bundle of 10 or more), CDs, DVDs, puzzles and games.

The lounge in our Comox library is well used, as we are a five minute walk from our Marina, where fish boats (commercial) and pleasure boats tie up. The fishermen and visitors use the library to read the paper, use the internet and borrow reading materials. Also the sale is popular with the loggers and fishermen and those who holiday in RVs and trailers. They can fill a box with pocket books and they have enough reading for a year. Oh yes, I forgot to mention that on the Sunday for four hours, it is everything you can put in a bag for $1.00! That is when the romance novels 'fly' out the door!!

At the cost of our children's books, we get lots of homeschoolers come in and stock up their little libraries. We also get lots of books on homeschooling that are popular. It gives all the Friends a big smile when we see a child off in a corner, or even sitting under the table surrounded by buyers legs and feet, reading their new book!

I work all the opening times of the sale, as I can lift boxes of books, and many of our workers just cannot. Our average age is about 52 - and we have two workers in their 80s!! It is a great opportunity to buy some excellent reads, knitting books (not many come in) and to chat with others who love books! I am always on the hunt for new authors!

One thing I want you to know about my library - in the past two months, we have got E-Audiobooks - which means that I can (well actually my DH does it) download books from the library without ever stepping my foot in the door at any hour of the night or day. I just finished listening to 'Family Tree' by Barbara Delinsky - it has a yarn shop in the story! I also listened to 'Nature Girl' by Carl Hiaasen, an author recommended by two other sorters! I think I have it made when I can sit and knit and listen to a book.

As I get older, and that is what I pray for everyday, I realize that the nicest things in life are 'priceless'. When you read about what economists tell you is the amount of money you need to retire, you get the feeling no one can ever afford to retire. We retired about 12 years ago from going out to earn a paycheck, and I think we live very well and probably an amount that is less than an economist would recommend. I heard an article on the radio last week that said that if you had five economists in a room with a problem to solve, you would get seven different opinions. I agree, as I have taken the odd economics course!!


Blogger Karen said...

Peg, your libraries and your Friends group sound marvellous! If I lived closer I'd be donating a box of books and most likely buying another boxfull back, but good luck with the sale and let us know how it all goes.
Your granddaughters will be delighted with what you've made them - I know from experience that it can get very cold in Germany, so those headbands will be just the thing.

10:22 AM  
Blogger Mary said...

Hi Peg - I know I must owe you an e-mail but have been so busy especially with the garden. Thanks for visiting and leaving your kind comments. Wish you could come and knit in the gazebo -that would be such fun!
Love your headbands and mittens - your GD's will love them. Hope it won't be too long before you see them again.
Read all about the book sale - so interesting and worthwhile. Wish I could bring some books for you to sell. I enjoyed more insight into your town and area - it sounds so peaceful and lovely on your island. Hope the winds have died down by now. We've had good rain today - the garden needed it -and now it's returning to the 60s which is more comfortable - I love it.
Talk when you are back with time to blog - good luck, make lots of money for Comox library!
Hugs, Mary.
P.S. Yes, retirement days are magical days - I probably love life more now than at any other age. Here in the US young people don't save though - they must learn that their retirement will not be fun if they don't plan ahead!

2:28 PM  
Blogger LaurieM said...

You made me chuckle with your reference to the economists. I also had a lovely mental image of a boy with boney knees reading his book. I'm so glad that both of my boys love to read.

Have fun at your book sale!

3:02 PM  
Blogger Fiberjoy said...

Best wishes on the book sale. May you not have to sort through piles of moldy, cigarrette smelling, can't-stand-to-touch books.

It's a huge effort, ongoing thoughout the year, to hold a successful book sale!

6:41 PM  
Blogger Kelly said...

Peg if you find an angela's ashes in the pile will you get it for me and i'll pay for it and the shipping???
I lent my copy that I got for christmas one year to a girl, then she moved country taking my precious Angela's Ashes with her :(

9:46 AM  
Blogger Kim said...

Dear Peg, I know I haven't been commenting much lately, but I do check in on your blog everyday. I just wanted to wish you luck with your big sale. I hope you are able to get a lovely reading area like the other library. That sounds heavenly! If our library had one, I'd be there every day!

10:35 AM  
Blogger Charity said...

I love your Calorimetries! I just purchased some SWS the other day, and am loving it! I think I'm going to try some felting with it. :0)

12:00 PM  

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