Tuesday, 31 January 2017

The Sock Problem

Ever since I started knitting, I have known about the problem with socks. They wear out.  I may have known it before but I could toss purchased socks out.  I wasn't emotionally connected to my socks.  I am emotionally connected to my hand knit socks.

A sock is my time, my heart, and a good dose of my soul.  I knit them out of yarns I love. Some are a challenge - patterns, cables, colour work.  Some are not, but they are a record on conversations with friends.  My socks are an essential part of my knitting life. It is much harder to let them go.

Moving makes me face up to the problem of my sock drawer.  

The problem of my sock drawer is that it looks pretty empty. There are a few pairs in the wash right now but even making allowances for that, it is a pretty empty drawer.

So why is the drawer suddenly so empty?  Because the darning pile is really BIG.

Doing a real thorough job going through my sock drawer did that.  I knew this was coming.  I have a lot of socks that I haven't worn for months.  There never seemed to be time before my move to repair them.  There are two Geek Socks in the pile waiting for heels but they all amount to the same thing.  I wear socks through on the heels so what you are really looking at is a big pile of heels waiting to be knit.

It's not that bad really.  Most of these have afterthought heels, which are easy to replace completely.  you just pull back and knit a complete new heel.  On most,  the original fabric is far too thin to do a small patch, so a new heel is a great idea.  

At least one pair in the pile has a hole beside a small patch.  It's a nice pair and warrants the second repair and a completely new heel.  Some pairs, sock one had a hole and was repaired, but now sock two needs work.  

I am giving up on these.  Completely.

The pair here was knit on a camping trip about 7 years ago.  I was trying to see if I could knit a whole pair over a whole weekend.  I did, but they were a shortie pair and my hands hurt by the time these were done.  They have been repaired at least twice and doing it a third time?  NOPE. I draw the line at that. There is a point where even socks you fondly recall knitting, must be left behind. They do not last forever.

Th third sock here just happens to be the same colourway but in a sport weight yarn.  The other sock is lost and has been for a long time.  I can let it go. 

Moving means every drawer is emptied, every thing you own is touched and packed.  It gives you a chance to get rid of what you no longer want or need.  Unpacking means that you can order and sort the things that remain. 

For now, my sock drawer is looking really ordered and tidy and the darn it pile is not.  I'm going to need a week of just heels to reset the balance and make things right.  

Repairing socks.  That in a nutshell is the problem of having a sock drawer you are deeply connected to.  And I kind of like it that way.     

Monday, 30 January 2017

A very Busy Weekend

And there was knitting!  But more importantly, there was a ton of knitting inspiration too.  I worked through my yarn.  Everything has been cleaned, tided, dusted and occasionally rebagged.  It is a really good days work.  

At the end of a day like that, you know what I find?  I don't just have lovely books.  I have some seriously fine yarn.   

 The outer multi coloured skeins are Adam and Eve from River City Yarns and the centre skein is Sweet Georgia Tough Love Sock. They look very striking together, but I have no idea if I purchased them to be used together or not, but they sure are yummy.  
 And then some favourites from a few years ago, a gray from Invictus Yarns and the lovely purple gradient from Pigeonroof Studios.  This is going to be a striped eternity scarf for my daughter in law Amy
 And this gorgeous set is for my daughter in law Olga. Same project for her but soft green gradient and a really lovely skein of golden heathered browns, all from Pigeonroof Studios.
 A really stunning batch of yarns, from Elann. Probably my last purchase from them before they went to Amazon.  It a blend of merino and cashmere that were part of their A series yarns.
From that day that I expanded my Classic Elite Fresco stash so that I would have enough red and white yarn to do something grand.  It's so nice I almost hate to use it.  I just love petting it in the skein!
 Red from the near to original offering of Eden from River City Yarns. This is destined to be a Multnomah shawl.  I did this shawl in Eden in golds for a lady I worked with for a while, and it was just striking.  My turn.
 The purple hued Blue Jean colourway in Briggs and Little Sport
 And the truly Denim colourway in Briggs and Little Durasport
 Do you recall me me writing about the Laekur Sweater from Knitty.com.  This is the yarn hash that I plan to use for it.  Natural grays and soft gray browns, in varying amounts, accented with the red.  Or black.  That is yet to be determined.
 And some sinfully delicious, sophisticated gray, again from River City Yarns and their Adam and Eve line.
 I was really proud of myself, getting all the yarn put away, but for the lace and the sock yarn. I want to have these a little closer to hand again.  The sock yarn, so I can use it more effectively, digging there before heading off to purchase more (it was at the bottom of a pile these last few months),  and the lace yarn, purely for inspiration. If I never knit a skein of it, it has done its job by making me want to live a knitting life.  I do plan to knit it though.  Don't get me wrong.  There are endless hours of delight in there.

Pride goeth before a fall.  Just as I was taking the photo, I found realized two containers of yarn were mixed in with the fabric boxes. I pulled them out so I could tuck them up high in the closet later.  Not too bad a days work, though, I thought.

Pride fell even harder as I was walking out to the kitchen to bask in my accomplishment.
There is yarn out in the hall too.  Forgot about that.  I am going to have to do a little more work in my yarn closet.  The rod and shelf are going to have to come out so that I can stack my containers one row higher. And then it will all fit.  Honest.

I had already set my sights on the other closet for spinning supplies.  I knew this house, with its standard closets, would never allow me to do a full wool room as I did in my wee house.  I do not want to mix it up spinning with yarn.  Yarn grows to whatever space I seem to allow it, and even for me, this has gone far enough.   

Anyway, off to the days tasks.  I have a book shelf to repair, a couple book cases to fill, and the spinning to order and sort. There is going to be time today to get a nice bit of knitting done too.  I think I am going to pull out Elfe today. Time to check the fit and that is always exciting. 

Friday, 27 January 2017

My books. I love them all.

I have lovely books, you know.  Stunning things really. Collected over a lifetime of reading, of crafting, of dreaming.  Of course the crafty books are most of the pretty ones.  Not all.  I have a particularly lovely copy of a study on a Book of Hours, a medieval type of prayer book, that is famed for its illustrations.  However, this evening I'm playing with the crafty books.

I came home to this. 

There were books on it at the time.  This has happened with this particular unit before.  It's just a Billy shelf, like all the others, but this unit just doesn't hold.  Granted it is usually the yarn book shelf and all those glossy pages mean the books are very very heavy.   I'm going to drill some holes and then put some screws through to the shelves.  It will help the excess spread in width and ought to do, to stabilize the bottom of the bookcase.

Yeah it isn't a perfect solution, but it will fix my problem and it won't be all that visible. 

In the mean time (my drill is not yet located) , I am looking at my books and having a glass of wine.  I highly recommend you do this too.  Unless you are reading this at breakfast.  Then Bailey's and coffee. Just sayin'. 

Just a few of my treasures.

 Above the broken shelves.
 And from the broken shelves.
 And a few that I just had to page through.

Piles of lovely books that are now in my living room and that are much more accessible than ever before.

 There was knitting, and

it's going to take a while till it looks much different, but I really am enjoying the knitting.

Thursday, 26 January 2017

Eager Beaver?

We all know what comes next.  Furniture in place.  Then comes unpacking.  And that is what you will find me doing for the next few days.  The great unpacking begins. 

I am starting with books in the living room and I am going to finish up in my room among this stuff.

By the end of the weekend, I will have all my lovely yarn gone through and fit in the closet.  I hope.  

Scattered through all the rest, I hope there will be a significant amount of knitting. I have some interesting stuff on the go, some of which are right at the point if decisions and they are all right in easy reach.  I can't wait get to work.

Wednesday, 25 January 2017

The Morning Build

I wanted to get settled as soon as possible. By settled I mean that my books are out, my little knick knacks are on the shelves, and my spinning wheel is sitting in my living room. Then it will feel real. 

This is my morning build.  Coffee table and side tables.  I had dreams about what I would buy.  That lovely Ikea coffee table with the display top could have been mine.  The truth is, I will always have stuff on top.  I need a place to tuck books as they are used or being read.  I am a stacker and packer and something with a simple top is much more what I need.  So, sadly, no fancy coffee table, just a good serviceable unit that will do what I need it to do.  By going with a very simple coffee table, I could spend more on end tables.  I chose rolling tables.  I can see a hundred ways that casters will be a real benefit, plus, they do have a shelf base.  Better for books.

I like things that look put together but I don't feel the need to have 'good' furniture.  After I pass from this life, it is all just stuff. It will be excess and I don't want to burden anybody with it.  I already did that once and that is enough for a lifetime. 

So here I am on my morning build.

There was knitting yesterday instead of spinning.  I can spin next week.  Once I am sorted out.  I hope.

Monday, 23 January 2017

Critical Mass

Moving hit critical mass this morning.  Everything arrived as it should.  Boxes and boxes and boxes.  But I couldn't find the box with my socks and underwear.

Epic crisis.

After waking the entire household with the clatter of shifting boxes, I did succeed in finding it.  I am dressed.  There is coffee. There is knitting.

There also appears to be moving schmutz on my desk top.  Please forgive.  It will be taken care of shortly.

I have an hour till I head off to work (still watching my grandkids while mommy works) but till then, it is quiet and still.  I love all my wee kiddies beyond measure but their energy and constant movement, well, it's just nice to have a place to escape to.

Friday, 20 January 2017

Take a deep breath...

and jump.

Today is the last day.  Truck comes tomorrow and the move will be short and sweet.  I can count the furniture.  3 chairs.  4 brown book cases. 3 white bookcases.  2 desks.  1 white cabinet. 2 side tables/drawer units. 1 treadmill.  2 tvs  1 computer and a few assorted boxes of yarn.

OK a lot of yarn.  My back gave out so I am a little behind but the boys agreed to move it because,well it isn't the books and it isn't the rocks.  Those things are already over there having been moved by my landlord when we emptied the storage unit.

I feel a little homeless in a weird way.  More between 2 places, not residing in either.  Still it is only tomorrow and the fun starts the minute I can unpack!  And I am really looking forward to reco  ecting with my things. 

I have loved living so close to half of my grandkids everyday. Still, living in a combined isn't easy and even a saints patience would be tested. None of the adults in this house are saints and we have had our issues, warranted on  both sides.  I am really looking forward to having a life of my own again and they are looking forward to just being able to be themselves again in their own home.

I'm sitting here debating packing up my computer and tv, and getting as much of the weird stuff that is hard to pack in a box neatly into my car. 

So farewell from this location, and my next post will come from the spiffy  new place. 

Thursday, 19 January 2017


I have been a huge fan of Knitty.com since I first saw it somewhere way back about this issue. I have no idea who first led me the but without a doubt, it was part of the first great explosion of my knitting life.   I have mohair in my stash to make the Ice Queen and I purchased it almost that long ago.

Knitty is one of those things that just never fails to provide something I want to knit.  Each and every issue inspires me.  I am one of the rabid many who used to watch for an issues' launch so I could see the patterns before the old servers would crash from the sheer number of viewers.  I admit to missing that certain odd charm to the wait, the crash and the eventual restoration so I could ruminate and ponder and dream.  I appreciate the new technology, and appreciate that the crash is a thing of the past, but, I keep the memory of the rush to beat others with great fondness.

In the second issue, I fell in love with Tempest .  I have been fascinated by this sweater forever and a day.  I look at samples of Fleece Artist BfL and dream and play even though I have yarn in my stash for it.  It never leaves my thinking.  It just fascinates me.

Undercurrent is another sweater that just doesn't leave my head.  I have already knitted one and have several sets of yarns bought purposefully for at least two more.  When I go out to a store, my eyes are always on the lookout for great combinations.

It goes the other way too.  I have yarn in my stash that I bought because knitting with it was just that good.  The yarn was discontinued and when I found my little stock of it, it was a bit of this colour, a bit of that, which together was enough to make a sweater.  I wasn't sure what to make with it, or how to get the bits to work together well, but then Laekur   popped onto my radar.  Knitty answers my quest yet again. 

And then, for those of us who are regular Knitty  viewers, there are midwinter treats.  Baltimore Tea Party is marvellous.  I have certain yarns which would be great for it.  And I can't wait to play, with it intricacy.  The wide bands of braiding is really innovative and I am fascinated.

Knitty has consistently proven to be THE place to find the next trend and for that, I thank the team making it happen.  You make my knitting life rich.  Thank you.

Wednesday, 18 January 2017


I'm sitting back here at my house after taking a load of yarn over.  The car was stuffed and the closet on the other end looks perilously full of yarn boxes and this room looks very bare.  And it feels chilly and drafty.

 When people make jokes about yarns insulating qualities, you can tell them, from me. S'truth.

Tuesday, 17 January 2017

The Dark and Quiet

I might be packing in odd minutes during the day, bu all my moving is happening after supper.  The drive is about 30 minutes, which means I have ample time for thinking.  I feel as if I haven't done that nearly enough.

The ends of the drive are in well populated spaces, farms, acreages, yards with double generations and two houses.  But the centre?  Ah, the centre.

Through the centre of it all, Elk Island National Park reigns supreme.  The minute you pass the park boundary, you are hit with a sense of something different, something just at the edge of your conscious self, something visceral.  It doesn't  register at first but after a minute you realize it is dark.  Dark in a way that we just don't get to experience very often in our day to day lives.

As far as you see, north and south, there are no buildings, no yards, no lights, not even a lot of park structures.  It is a hint of what these vast prairies were like before European settlement.

Somewhere out there in the dark, it's  easy to imagine small groups of our native people settled under a tipi, snug in warm furs and leather, living with the land and sky instead of on it. You can almost hear their campfire stories.

You can almost hear the sounds of early prairie women, sturdy though they often were, sighing as the saw the endless stands of poplar, birch and spruce that this area was some 300 years ago.  They would have understood the task before them, and they would have known what their lives were about to be like.

I have lived on this borderland of the park for almost 25 years.  It has been part of my consciousness for so long.  I am comforted in an odd way, that it will remain a part of my world, if not daily, at least weekly for a good long time to come.

There has been a little knitting today.  Just a sock using a 3-1 rib pattern from Nancy Bush's Knitting Vintage Socks.

 This is a very fun sock blank, with much more diversity than I was expecting.  It's  just the perfect 'minutes when I am not packing' knitting for this week.  It makes me happy.

And that seems to be the light and the dark of it this week!

Sunday, 15 January 2017

And so it goes.

It's getting real.

The small things that keep reminding me who I am are starting to be packed up.  The shelves are getting bare.  I have help today, so I doing a few awkward bits and pieces today.  The yarn will go through the week.  I can move and stack that without assistance. 

The books I have here will go a little at a time.  I only have 2 book boxes here so before I can do more, I need to unpack some of the many books at the other end.  Problem is, all the shelves are here.  I anticipate a few piles before the week is done.

 By the end if the week, I hope to be done moving all the bits and pieces, so that only the furniture remains.  And the furniture goes in the truck on Saturday.  By Saturday night, I hope to be sleeping at the new place. 

By Saturday, I will be reunited with all my things, my books, my few pieces of furniture.  It is the grand sum of who I am. I'm kind of looking forward to feeling whole. 

Friday, 13 January 2017


I am sitting here knitting when I should be packing and plying solitaire when I should be knitting.  I fear the miasma of moving has taken over. 

There isn't any place to put boxes.  Ughhhhhh

Tuesday, 10 January 2017

Painfully slow but

Things are progressing awfully slowly but there is an upside.  I did get a little knitting done this afternoon,

In between kids and puzzles and a nap.  I am really enjoying this yarn.   If I had a choice in using this and a dozen other things give me Three Irish Girls Felicity every time.

But much of my day wasn't kids or packing.  I went spinning this morning for the first time in a while and it was lovely.  I really really am enjoying getting out to spin in the company if a good friend.  It's such a pleasure watching things form on her wheel and even more amazing, form on mine.  I am working on the first of two braids of Colour Affection Polwarth in a wonderful brilliant yet softly variable coloured scarlet.  I'm kind of interested to see if it works with the red I spun earlier in the fall.   I just have a feeling.

Anyway morning comes early and I have dreams to dream and well, you know.  Stuff.

Monday, 9 January 2017

Days of not knitting

Just as when I was getting ready to move from the wee house to here, I am in full getting  ready  to move mode. All the boxes will soon be packed and within the next week to 10 days, I hope to have landed at my new home in Mundare.  The landlord is moving his things into his space through this week, and as soon as he is settled, he said I can start to take things over.  Yipppeeeeeee

And then I fondly hope to get back to a life that is a little more mine  and a whole lot more knitting. For now, this is all I have.

Three rounds.  Just 3 rounds, but in a way, it is exactly enough.   We had our family Christmas at Uncle Keith's house, my soon soon to be home) and it worked just perfectly. Adults in the kitchen,

and kids in the living room.

I love my noisy little kids and my big kids too. Just the perfect Christmas.

Thursday, 5 January 2017


I have actual knitting!  My actual knitting.

Elfe, under construction.

I have just moved on to the second stripe, this time the stripe is 4 of the multi and will be followed by8I think of the plain grey.  And so on.

One of my issues using this yarn is that I only have 2 of the plain gray,  and 3 of the multi.  I am not entirely sure the the multis would be great close to my face.  I completely love these colours, and do wear them,.  I've come to find that I can wear anything, so long as I use those colours farther from my face.  The multis will make up the lower body.  No matter when the plain runs out, I doubt it will be noticed.

It was also my birthday yesterday, and let me tell you, No Grandma has ever been treated so nicely.  From a good morning song and a bit of crazy dancing to the charming help blowing out my candles and eating my cake, I am so lucky.  I love my kids and kiddies alike. 

Wednesday, 4 January 2017

Knitting, but not mine

I have a pretty regular spinning session set once a week and it is doing great things for my spinning and drafting.  It is also wonderful that I have gone back to one of the nicest things I have ever done - using my crafting to connect with dear friends.

Before I knit, I worked in an office, a small office and only knew 3 women that I could call friends.  Even there, work friends are a very different thing than friends in your personal life.  I only had 2 friends.  That isn't a lot for a woman.  Women need to talk.  It's part of our way of getting stress out of our system.  We are sharers ans givers and we thrive in places where we can do these things.  I feel this is where sewing bees and shared work in so many facets of women's history developed from, from the need and the knowledge that by sharing, we are more effective and efficient.  Please know, this is just my opinion, and not something I have studied in depth.  Though I may yet do so.

When I found knitting, I found my people.  I found a large group of people so different than I, and yet we are drawn together by a love of needles and yarn.  Or weaving and yarn.  But there is yarn in there always.  After getting involved with a knitting group, I read a post from a person who worked but who wanted to get together for knitting too.  It seemed like a great idea to get out and meet more people.

And so, I met Christine, Frazzledknitter on Ravelry, who has just become such a good friend.  I was planning a little surprise for her, which may yet come to be, but it will be late, as most of my planned knit projects are, but there it is. 

I was hoping to surprise her and instead, she surprised me! She made me a tiny squirrel.

I adore this wee thing with it's jaunty hat and scarf.  It's just the sweetest. The  first knitting, living at my new home!

Monday, 2 January 2017

Project Found

I spent much too long looking at patterns yesterday, but I did come up with the right thing.  And then a yarn that it might very well be fated for.

Pattern choice:  Elfe

Yarn choice: 

Three Irish Girls Felicity.  This yarn is distinctly different than what is asked for.  They use a fingering weight.  This is worsted and a sort of dense worsted at that.  I think it will work because the pattern gauge is 20 stitches on 4 inches.  The are obviously looking for a very drapey fabric and I have followed their lead by using a 5 mm needle and a gauge of 4.25 stiches per inch. 

So far, it looks great.  My row gauge is different too and I am debating if I ought to recalculate for it.  I want to hold the spirit of the fibonaci like stripes.  They make me happy, but I also don't want the stripes to start till just at the top of the shoulder. 

Anyway, it's a lovely design, with its contiguous shoulder, and  it's simple shape.  I can use a few more vest like shirts. I can actually use a few more basic sweaters, but that has to wait till after my move.

Which may or may not happen next week.  The landlord came home sick today when I was over there getting ready for our family Christmas.   If he is sick I can't move.  He has to vacate the upstairs rooms to his downstairs suite.  Which kind of looks like this. 

 I begged for this space but he demanded he be able to choose.  You can't get past the fact that this is his house so I lost.  Sigh.

There are some details left to do, like the bathroom and his study and his laundry.  But these basic rooms are enough to make it happen.  I just want to feel like I have a bit of a life again.  I love my kids and their kiddies, and love being here but it is so easy to get lost in their life and forget to have one of my own.  Moving should help make that happen again.   

Sunday, 1 January 2017

The First Day

Today is the first day.  First day of what is a logical question.  First day of the year.  First day of the week.  First day of a month.  But it also is the first day of a new knitting project.

The problem is, what project?  I have so many lined up that I want to do.  I want more than socks, and I just don't feel like a shawl today.  There is a yarn I would love to use, but it is in the other room and I'm not ready to dig it out from behind furniture today.  Not when I will be doing that for good next week anyway.  So I am kind of limiting myself to the yarn I have in my room.  That still is a lot of yarn  but even there, I just don't have the energy to dig too much. I will be digging it next week or the following week too.  Seems like too much digging will be a waste of energy. 

So right off the bat, I am limiting myself to what is at the 'top' of the reachable stash.  Some might find these limits sad, but I don't think it will be for me.  I have a lot of stash and at lot is still easily reachable. 

Right now I'm looking at patterns that might work with some of these top yarns. Shortly I will go look at yarns.  Somewhere in between, something will jump up and shout 'knit me'! 

I hope.