Sunday, 31 July 2016

Always something more

I love sock knitting.  I know I have said that before, but it is a simple honest truth.  It is the single most interesting thing you can knit.

The yarns always change, the patterns...oh so many many patterns, so many techniques.n  It would take you a lifetime to learn and do them all.

My current obsession is this.

Remember how I said that I wasn't sure I liked it?  I am now sure.  Absolutely 100 percent postive I love this.  The colours kind of remind me of the Tulip Sweater from Dream in Color.  The little colour tips of the slipped pattern make the edges have that same feel.  And that soft blue green that I did not see earlier, makes a gentle transition at the end of a colour series.

Why the end of the series?  I don't know but that is what it feels like to me. The soft blue green is where everything changes. 

Anyway, I adore it and the pattern and everything.  Have a lovely Monday.  Hoping you get a nice holiday day.

Friday, 29 July 2016


Sock knitting happened.

I could even show you proof if I would have brought the socks upstairs to take a photo of them!.  Later.

I am not 100 percent sure if I like them yet, but it improved dramatically once I worked up the turquoise.  And did you know that there was a previously unseen by me section of pale blue?  Interesting.

Thursday, 28 July 2016

So. Socks

Your good morning this morning comes from Isaac.  This is Isaac.

He woke up early today, but he is busy watching a movie under there.  He and I had movie night.  He slept on a fold out chair and I slept on a chair and ottoman.  This required many blankets and tons and tons of pillows. We watched Space Chimps and then Frosty the Snowman. Frosty won over other movies because it was shorter than most and we didn't want to stay up too late past our bedtime.  If you have never had a movie night with your grandkids, you should.  It isn't a big thing, it is just that the sharing of something simple is so incredibly perfect.

So.  Socks.

I started a pair of Geek Socks.  It is from this giant ball of yarn. Regia 6 ply in a wonderful range of bright cheery colours.  150m grams for a pair of slightly heavier weight socks.  If you can't fathom the difference between a sport weight yarn and a fingering weight yarn, there is no clearer picture to be had than a ball of fingering weight sock yarn and a 6ply sock yarn.

Moreso, it seems bright and cheery in the ball.  In the actual knitting, I am not so sure.

There is a swath of a soft green  after the lime and the peach isn't quite so bright as it looked in the ball.  It is early on in the process and judging it is a bit unfair yet.  But it is pure clean stripes and perfect for this pattern.

So. Socks.  Yet another pair, but a really interesting one that may yet yield its own rewards.

Wednesday, 27 July 2016

Gooooood Morning

Good morning from the road.  ish.

I am over at my other grandkids this morning helping out.  Mommy here has been not feeling well, so grandma is here keeping the kids busy.

Carter would like to wish you all a good morning.  He is up really early this morning.

So, needless to say my morning knitting involves very little yarn manipulation and a whole lot of this little piggy.. 

I am working on socks this week.  I have a problem on the center panel of the Onerva.  It looks ok, but the motif at one end is not the motif at the other end.,  I know what I did and can fix the error easily, but I just don't have the time today. 

So socks it is.  To keep my brain engaged, I did bring along several other balls of cheery, bright sock yarn to start some more Geek Socks.  I have spent the last year searching for commercial yarns that would stripe right and let me tell you, it isn't always easy.

Most commercial sock yarns are dyed with a pattern in mind. They faux fair isle beautifully, but that is not what the Geek socks need.  Geek socks need a clean colour change and at least 3 rows of a colour before the change.

And that seems to be the province of hand dyes.  I'm not sure enough of most of those for colour stability or the extreme wash and dryability that I desire in a yarn for something like socks.  

So, the search is ever on.  I just really enjoyed that pattern, and mean to make more of them just for me.  Because I can.  IF I can find the right yarns.

Tuesday, 26 July 2016

Great Yarn

Every once in a while, you happen on a really different yarn, different in looks and different in quality.  It is what makes the quest for yarn an adventure.

My sister brought me this from Britian.  I think it was via the stash of my neice, who was, on this occasion, the bride.  I Knit or Dye from London

It says it is 100 percent merino, but I would like to meet these sheep.  This is, by far, the finest, most gloriously soft merino I have ever held.  I highly recommend your becoming acquainted with it.

The dye is interesting.  It's a speckled looking thing and I can't wait to see how it turns out!  I have seen some gorgeous things in yarns dyed like it.  For me, this is going to be something scarfy or cowly.  Cowl, most likely.  Wearing this buttery soft goodness is something to look forward to.

Monday, 25 July 2016

Changing needles

I knit a fair bit on Onerva this weekend.  It is coming along nicely.

 I wanted to see how large it was but that was almost impossible on the 32 inch needle I had it on.  So off it went to the 60 incher I had in my needle arsenal.

 When I first started buying really good needles, I thought that if I bought one long needle, I would have something that would work no matter what I was working on. Bahahahaha.  We all know how that goes.

The 60 inch needle tells me that this shawl is not quite so wide as I had hoped.  I am not a tall person so that wingspan is not so wide as some.  It is finger tip to finger tip before blocking and I know that it will grow a lot on blocking BUT...

The plan was that at the end of the first skein, I would start a second and start decreasing.  I do have a third so I have the option to use part of that too, but then I may end up with a shawl that is too large to wear.  This is just as bad and awkward as too small.

I have to decide on how wide I want it to be very shortly.

No matter what I do, this skein is quickly coming to an end.

Got to go.  I hear the pitter patter of little feet and that means Marcus thinks morning has arrived.  I guess it has!

Thursday, 21 July 2016

And back to knitting

I finally felt I had a decent knitting day.  I got a little done in the morning and socked it the rest of the day.  Movement on the sock front is always a happening thing.

But I wanted to show you the changes on the Onerva.

I am so pleased with the way this is coming along.  The centre all 'peas' section is starting to express how it is going to look and I am thrilled.  It is exactly what I was hoping for. And the outer bands of lace are ever their lovely selves.

This isn't a hard shawl.  Its a lovely pattern and my copy of the pattern is one that is set so that all the motifs are lined up. It makes for lovely simple knitting.  Never anything you can park your thinking though, but just enough to watch to keep you deeply engaged.

And that is right where I am.  Deeply engaged and enjoying this process.

Tuesday, 19 July 2016

Oh What Tangled Webs We Weave

Years ago I bought a small loom from a friend who needed to have it gone, and while it intrigued me, I did not find it very satisfying.  Lately, though, my good friend, Frazzledknitter has been leading me down the garden path.   As you can see.  She told me about some great books and a great Ravelry board and I have to say, I am smitten.  Whole days between chasing kiddies were spent reading and absorbing and planning and dreaming.

Only I had one small problem. 

My loom was warped with my project from back when I first cast it on. 

There was about a foot and a half left to weave, and it seemed wrong to just cut it off.  Finished, it's about 5 feet long and about 8 inches wide.  It would be a fine scarf if it were made from a wool yarn, but it is my old enemy friend, kitchen cotton that would never die.

It has a couple of very bad edges,

And some really pleasing sections,

And on the whole, for a first effort, just fine and dandy.

 One end is a tad more tightly woven than the other, but I do believe I accomplished my goal, even if my goal on warping the loom was 'weaving' and nothing beyond that.

I have no idea what to use it for.  It is not towelish.  It is more than a washcloth.  It could be a table runner, but not a very good one.  There will be a way to use it.  I just don't know what that is yet.

I do have lots of ideas now, so watch out little loom, I am going to be spending more time with you.

Monday, 18 July 2016

The last knitting

The last knitting I did is days ago.  Saturday in real life, but it seems like days and days ago.  As I said, I baybysat for my other grandkids on Friday and thought I was finished.  But Sunday morning about 4 a.m. I got a text to come, if I was up, and stay with the boys while they took a very sick mommy to the hospital.  I did that and I am going back today too.  She has a case of pnuemonia, and is just not ready to do it alone.  With a fresh batch of drugs and a different bronchio dialator, she should be right as rain in a day or two. 

Makes me think of how far medical care has come.  Used to be people died of pnuemonia.  Now days, most people with it, continue to work through it and keep up with their ordinary days.  In this case, I think the first round of meds were not right, or strong enough and the infection just went a little farther than it usually does.

And I will be very very ready to knit and sleep and do little else for a while so I don't get sick myself when this day is done.  I crawled into bed last night at 6 pm and woke about 9 and then again at 5 ish a.m. but otherwise slept right through.  I am kind of looking forward to another day of long sleeps.  It means  I will catch up from this very busy weekend in one fell swoop. 

Time to roll. 

Sunday, 17 July 2016

Missed the Friday blog and

ended up babysitting for the grandkids I don't live with.  I am back again this morning and momma is seeing if there are better medications out there.

My drive is about 40 minutes and as always when I drive, I do a lot of thinking and running through memories and I thought of the day that Brian and I first saw our house.

We had been living in Calgary while Brian was retraining for his job.  It was April or very early May.  We had been watching the newspapers for Real Estate ads for a while and were getting ready to think about calling a realtor.  Getting ready to think about calling a realtor is several steps from actually calling a realtor.  We hadn't really talked at all about what we were looking for, only that we wanted an acreage rather than living in town.  We knew how much we could afford in mortgage payments too.  But we never talked about the things we wanted from a place we lived.  I don't know.  Maybe people didn't talk about things like that in those days.  I just know we had not. 

I was looking for a good place to have a big garden and I am not sure what Brian was looking for.  In his dreams, he wanted a log house, and a big stone fireplace and a cathedral ceiling where he could one day hang his dream elk. 

Brian was called to work on a weekend and we had enough notice to call a realtor and make arrangements with a very lovely sister in law to watch the kids.  The realtor could only arrange for 4 home showings at such short notice.  He worked, I looked.

House one, was a newly built house that a builder felt he could build and have livable before school started in the fall. That would have been great except the lot he had available was mostly swamp.  Not at all what we were looking for.  I still recall the subdivision.    Another was a mobile home on 80m acres.  It was a really old home and smelled of mold and mice.  It would have been great to have the land at the price of then to sell in the price of now, but we would have had to do something for a decent place to live and that would have put us over budget.  Next we looked at a nice place, 4 acres all open land and rolling hills.  It was neat but the house was only 1100 hundred square feet with a formal dining room and an eat in kitchen, as the style was for a while.  The rooms were claustrophobic.  We could have fixed it in time, but the the biggest downside was that it had an old fashioned cistern in the basement. Livable space in the basement was only 500 square feet.  Still not a total loss and the home stayed on the table for a bit as a possibility. And then I looked at what would become our home.

I liked the walk in basement (in at basement level and living level upstairs).  It meant that there were big windows downstairs and it hardly felt like a basement.  Upstairs, it was open.  The front room and over the front entry, was open the full length of the house but for the small second bedroom. The bedroom end of things overlooked that high lovely open space.  It felt huge!  To the back was a hallway to a backdoor and the kitchen and a large dinging area. The bathroom was down that open hall to the master and the master itself was giant. I fell in love with its space and openness. It felt right for a place that would soon be filled by boys growing to manhood. 

When Brian went to see it,  he fell in love with the outside.  Its grand forested landscape was his dream, and that open from basement to the living room front entrance was perfect for his eventual elk.  (All his dreams had elk.  It was who he was.) But the outside thrilled him.  We were very close to Cooking Lake Blackfoot Grazing Area and Provincial Recreation area.  It was old growth forest.  Basically, it had not burned off in the forest fires that swept the area in the 1880s and early 1900s. Big old trees.  Feet of peat for a forest floor.  It was so much more than he ever dreamed he would have and he loved it.   We looked at the house and then took a quick walk down the path in the back to the far end of the lot.  On the way back to the house, he was calling it our place.     

But it came to be.  Two days later it was ours, and other than my wee house in Spruce Grove, is the only house either of us ever owned.  I gave up my dreams of a garden for him...and for me.  There were so many positives that for a long long time, working in an office (never wanted to do office work) doing a job (bookkeeping) that I never dreamed I would do in my wildest nightmares, was fair trade to live in a place like that.  I loved living here for so very very many years.  Each day I would get up and thank my maker for giving me the privilege of living there. It was a blessing and a joy.

It is such a lovely memory: the look on his face as he says our place, and how right there, that day, his heart started living there.  He made it a grand place to live and him being there, made it home.Such a warm and lovely memory.


Thursday, 14 July 2016

Desperately needing to knit more.

I am sitting upstairs this morning.  The little people are up and it is sunny out.  It is bound to be a busy day.  If I am lucky, there will be a little knitting.  So far, on the busy days, I haven't been that lucky and there has not been a lot of knitting.  A little on a dishcloth.  A row on the shawl.

The one thing that is really hard living here is keeping some of an independent life.  Yesterday was a good example.  I went up when the kids were up right about 7 a.m.  (Delete whiny section) and what with one thing and another, grandma was still with kiddies at 8 when she cried uncle and went down to her room.  By 9 grandma - me - was in bed.

I am trying pretty hard to keep a bit of a life of my own, keeping to some things that are just for me and are not about kids.  But right now, it is even hard to make time to knit. Once the renos are done, it should get better.  Once summer is done and the yardwork is over, it should get better.  It should get better.

Till then, I am gnashing my teeth, hanging on by a thread, desperately need to knit more.  


Wednesday, 13 July 2016

Little peas

Back when I started Onwerva, I had little idea how lovely knitting little pea could be.

In between  dishcloths, I am all about peas.  There are ten thousand other things I ought to be working on, but they all require a geeat deal of care and thought and I don't have that right now. Maybe later.

For now, I shall knit peas.

Sunday, 10 July 2016

I thought I was done

I was going along thinking I had the dishcloth thing mastered. 

And then, I picked up and knit just a few more, trying to mix up the colour combinations to see what I could come up with. It started with a variation on the blue with blue/green/white colourway, second down in the pile from last week.  

 This variation I changed out the plain blue for the brilliant green.

If that isn't an amazing transformetion, I don't know what is.  Well except maybe for this.

I had this glum green tones yarn called guacamole.

It really didn't work with the bright green. I debated about knitting it alone, but I hated the thought of something so blah. So I went non traditional. 

There is quite a bit of deep navy in my stash from puppet making.  It struck me that that is what a thing called guacamole needed, something crisp and strong to set it off.     I love this so well that I could almost see me wearing a tank top of it.  But...

It's not going to happen.  Besides, it didn't look like Mary Maxim had Guacamole anymore. Stash busting lives to tell a tale another day.

Friday, 8 July 2016

The Saga continues

I was out running renovation errands and made sure to bring in my work bag.

I didn't get much of a chance to to knit yesterday.  Too many interesting things going on.  First though, I will show you my progress on the dishcloth saga.

I finished a pair of blue and blue green striped cloths and am now working on a set of my two favourite colours, blue and that marvelous brilliant green. I love that shocking combination.

Those other things that have kept me busy this week are renovations.  Things are at the stage where they are starting to move along speedily. Thankfully. 

In more cheery news, my second son, purchased his first house.

It's a nice home in a small commuter community that at first glance seems a long way from the city.  His commute will not be any longer than the average city commute and has the benefit of all being easy to drive highway.  It will be the kind of driving that is relaxing at the end of a day, through Elk Island Park and through farmland.  I am so thrilled for him!

Now what could a guy, who has never had his own kitchen before need from a mom who knits?  Dishcloths.  Bwahahahaha

Thursday, 7 July 2016

It's 6:19 a.m. and I wish the kiddies were up to keep me awake.  Otherwise, I am crawling back into bed.  I will knit later.

Wednesday, 6 July 2016

Something else

Last evening, when I got home, I settled down to knit.  There should have been another set of dishcloths, but I found that I had left my workbag in the car.  I was ready to sit so I picked up something else.  and what a something else it is.

Way back I was knitting a shawl for my daughter in laws grandmother but I was deeply dissatisfied by the quality of my knitting.  I was rowing out and it showed badly.  I bound off the work, and packed it away, knit something else (a Big Shetland Shawl) that better hid my skills.  It was packed away with the laceweights and mostly forgotten about.  I even deleted the Ravelry project page.

As I prepared to move back to the big house, I found the printed pages with my chart notes for it.  It made me wonder if I could sort it out the small part shawl again and not have to start completely over.  When I was going through things a few weeks ago, I pulled out the yarn and the bit of work and thought maybe I would do it for me.

Feeling entirely too lazy to go out and get my workbag, I sat down to see if I could sort out what was what on this bit of a thing. 

The project is Onerva.  It is a simple lace and yet truly stunning.  You don't need complex designs to be stunning and this is stunning.

It is made of delicate bands of small beads.  Many people have continued the bead bands through their entire shawl.  Some have done a large plain center.  The original shawl is a triangle half square and I am going somewhere a little different.  Another repeat or so and I am going to restart the beaded bands. 

 Such a lovely thing from bands of small beads.  It is such a lovely thing to knit and now it is just for me. 

Tuesday, 5 July 2016

Day two - Dishclothapalooza

I tried to worked steadily, but it was a rather in and out day for me.  Inside, Outside, chase little people, kiss their owwies.  Nice, but not quite so much knitting as I hoped.

But I will be pleased with what I got done and that is that.

I worked part of a third as well, in different colours.  Another day of dishcloths in my future.

Sunday, 3 July 2016

Turning water (??) into...

Everybody has it.  Dishcloth cotton.  Little tub?  A couple of skeins?  Somewhere out there I am sure there are knitters who don't have it, but I do, and well, it is high time for some truth.

It isn't one of my favourite things and knitted and crocheted dishcloths have not been my favourite thing to work with for a while now.  I probably shouldn't admit to that, but I have come to love the micro fibre cloths for many many things. But, at least one of my daughter in laws likes them a lot. 

I have a place where this can go!

My space is at a premium right now and I needed to dump this or use it so that a nicer yarn could sit where this was just marking time and taking up space.  Not a new yarn, just yarn that needed to go into a better place.

I am going to make a stack of dishcloths for one daughter in law and I am going to make some duster covers for my other daughter in law, and at least one Swifer type broom bottom for each. 

I started working on that plan today.

This was two ends of very coordinating yarn scraps.  One was a bit of Handicrafter cotton and the other a leftover Wendy Supreme (I think) from a puppet project I did a while ago.  Each is about the size of a woman's hand, perhaps just a wee bit larger, but not too large in a plain garter stitch.

Generic.  Ordinary, but still knitting.  Between visiting with my kids and my folks and grandchildren,  that was all I got done, but it is good and I am content.  It's a nice feeling when you have a project in mind that will empty a whole tub, a small one, but one whole tub.  I like that.  Feels like I am getting things done.

Friday, 1 July 2016


100 Years ago today, the Newfoundland Regiment suffered terrible casualties at Beaumont Hamel, in that utter failure of diplomacy that was the first World War.

Canada Day can be celebrated twice next year when we are 150, but today?  Today I reserve for the Boys in Blue, the Newfoundland Puttees, who stepped up over the lip of the trench because that is what they were asked to do. 

Link to the Heritage page