Monday, 31 December 2012

In the Spirit of Judith MacKenzie

As I'm sure you already know, Judith MacKenzie lost her fibre studio to fire on October 29.   In the days after, there was a flurry of blog posts and tweets about this, fundraising auctions and knitting patterns released with proceeds going to help her.

So who is Judith MacKenzie?  I asked the same thing.  Judith is a weaver, spinner and fibre artist living in Washington State who has taught at numerous fibre events in the United States.  I've never met her, never had the privilege of attending one of her classes, and wouldn't know her on the street if I passed her, but I can't help but think that the fibre arts community is small and we need to stick together.

That being said, I wasn't much interested in just flinging cash at the problem.  Broadly speaking, I don't do that because so often it isn't really helpful, but if someone is going to do something tangible to help fix a situation, I'm more interested in contributing.  So when the Wild Hare pattern became available on Ravelry for a pair of mittens with proceeds going to Judith's Studio Fund I bought it.  Truthfully, I would have bought the pattern anyway but I was glad to find a way to help.

I have all I need for these, except the red for the accent rows in the ribbing and a few highlight stitches.  I don't need much, just a small amount but I can't really justify the cost of a skein for a few rows.

I did however, have this.  It isn't exactly red, but it's closer to the colour I want.

So, in the spirit of Judith MacKenzie, I made it.

Spinning the roving showing a preview of the finished yarn.

Single ply wound onto a nøstepinde

Used the spinning wheel to make a two ply yarn by taking the beginning and end of the ball made above and spinning back onto the wheel

Wrapped the two ply yarn onto a niddy noddy.

Finished yarn in a skein.

Sunday, 30 December 2012

Tell me again why I have dogs?

I should have seen this coming.

When we chose our newest dog Runner from the Lanark Animal Welfare Society, we saw right away that he liked playing with stuffed animals; stuffies the staff at the shelter called them.  There was a grotty little stuffed bunny in the dog run and it looked like his most favourite thing in the whole world the way he carried it around with him.  I almost asked if we could have it.  I was prepared to add a few bucks to the bill to make him feel more comfortable.

You see, I don't give my dogs stuffies.  They have rope bones and balls, rawhides, pigs ears and all the sticks they can carry, but no stuffed animals simply because there is no glamour in cleaning up puked up stuffing.

What does this have to do with knitting you ask?  Well, I left my knitting unattended one day in October when Runner was obviously missing his stuffed bunny.  It was laceweight yarn, neatly wound into a cake.  I got up one morning and it looked like this:

Actually, it didn't look this good; I couldn't find the ends.  I don't think the bill for the dog had cleared the Visa yet so I wasn't prepared to throttle him but truthfully, it was my fault.  I did leave it unattended.

So I packed it up into a bag and put it away.  Today, I had calmed down enough that I was prepared to take it out and have a look at it.  I did obviously find the wound up end this time; and believe it or not, it only took me 80 minutes to wind this mess back into a ball.  There were two breaks in the yarn.  All things considered, I got off lucky.

Needless to say, I'm now absolutely militant about putting my knitting away when I'm done.

Monday, 24 December 2012

Santa Tracker

Every once in a while you come across a news article that makes you laugh out loud.  I found one such article today.  It concerns the origins of why NORAD tracks Santa Claus as he makes his way around the world.

It seems back in 1955, Sears Roebuck & Co ran an ad in a Colorado Springs newspaper telling kids to call Santa and tell him what they wanted for Christmas.  Except the phone number was printed incorrectly.   What was printed was actually the hotline for the Continental Air Defense Command (CONAD), which is also in Colorado Springs.  The then Director of Operations was Colonel Harry Shoup and rather than be irritated by the flood of calls, Col. Shoup played along and ordered his staff to start watching out for signs of movement at the North Pole and relayed this information to the kids who were calling.

In 1958, the Canadian and US governments created a bi-national organization for air defense called the North American Aerospace Defense Command (NORAD).  Even today, NORAD continues the tradition of tracking Santa Claus as he makes his way around the world with the Official NORAD Santa Tracker.

Col. Shoup passed away in 2009, however his legacy of the Santa Tracker lives on.
Merry Christmas to you all.

Friday, 21 December 2012


Today is my favourite day of the year.  For weeks the days have grown shorter and shorter and by extension, the nights have become longer and longer.
But today marks the turning point, the return of the light.  Tonight I am celebrating Yule.

I wish you all bright blessings, peace and happiness.

Monday, 10 December 2012

If you leave a hunter unattended in the kitchen...

For most hunters in Eastern Ontario, the deer hunting season closed a long time ago.  But for those few who chose to hunt with a bow and arrow, this week is the last week to hunt.

My husband is one such hunter and was all prepared to go out for one final week.  But yesterday, the weather network started forecasting foul weather of snow followed by freezing rain.  He wasn't to be deterred, but by the end of the day, and a glance at the radar maps, he'd decided that perhaps going up early in the morning wasn't a good idea.  

As it turns out, the school buses were all cancelled and there was freezing rain until noon.  It was a good decision on his part, but he was very disappointed.  

So after plowing the lane-way, taking the dogs out and getting dinner ready he decided to make cookies.  He found the cookie cutters and was absolutely tickled to discover that I had deer and moose shaped cookie cutters.  I also have a lighthouse, a couple dinosaurs, and some fish in addition to the more traditional stars, angels, trees and gingerbread men.

Then he found the coloured sugars and started "decorating" his moose....

Anyone else out there have cookies with "kill spots"??

Sunday, 9 December 2012


December 9 and the ALL the Christmas knitting is done, washed, blocked and ready!

I finished the last pair of socks last night which leaves more than two weeks before Christmas...wonder if I can get another pair of socks or a cowl done between now and then.

The tree is up, though not yet decorated but I actually know where the decorations are this year.  Yes, it's an artificial tree.  Not my first choice, but between two dogs, a cat, and woefully uneven floors, I felt it was prudent.

We got some new stockings for my brother's girlfriend and her daughter because everyone needs a stocking,

the fresh, locally raised turkey has been ordered

and I'm starting to buy the specialty foods (Quality Street chocolate anyone?).

You could make an argument that much of the food could be purchased earlier than this, but honestly - I know myself and it would have been eaten long before I needed it.  In addition to this, the vast majority of my shopping is done and the items have been received and I still have miles of wrapping paper thanks to an impulse purchase at Costco a few years ago.  I even know what I'm having for dinner Christmas Eve because my menus are done.

This year for the first time in many many years, I feel like I'm on schedule and ready.  And you know what?  I'm actually enjoying the season.

Thursday, 22 November 2012

Raspberry Fizz

It's amazing what can be accomplished once there is a little pressure and a deadline.

Here is the first of three projects I'm aiming to complete before Christmas.  At the time of this writing, I have 32 days remaining to complete another scarf which is far less complicated than this (and to be fair - it's already half finished) and a pair of socks - which I can almost knit in my sleep.  I think it's a reasonable goal.

The pattern is Alhambra by Anne Hanson.  This is the third time I've knit this so I'm getting faster at it.  The first time, it took me 5 weeks.  The second time was 3 and now I'm down to 2.  Two weeks for a lace scarf.  Not bad.  Like the others I've made, this is knit in SweetGeorgia CashSilk Lace - a lovely blend of cashmere and silk.  The colour is called "Orchid".

One down, two to go.  Knit on!

Friday, 9 November 2012

Knitting Update

It's been a while since I've posted anything related to knitting so without further ado, here's what's going on.

This is called Semele (you can find it on Ravelry here) and is knit in Indigodragonfly's Merino Silk 4-ply Sock yarn.  This is lovely stuff to work with, very soft and the finished product has a wonderful sheen. In the right light, it will be almost iridescent   The colour is called 20,000 Lawyers Under the Sea.  Kudos to Kim for endless creativity and a spot of humour in naming her yarn.  I'm undecided who is going to get this when it's done.  It might end up under the tree for Christmas.  Then again, I do like it so I might keep it.  

This one is definitely going to be under the tree.  Since I don't know if the individual in question reads this I'm going to be very vague about the recipient.

This is knit in a lovely baby llama from Illimani.  According to their website, once llama has been "dehaired"  (i.e. the coarse outer hair has been removed) the resulting fleece is as soft as cashmere,  while being warmer, lighter and stronger than wool.  I believe it.  This is a fairly thick scarf but still has a lovely drape to it.  Having worked with cashmere, I agree this is as soft and now that it's long enough to pool in my lap as I work, I can tell it will be very warm.  I hope the recipient likes it.  Apologies for the dog hair in the photo - some things you just can't get away from around here.  Dog hair is one of them.

A last minute "gotcha", is my brother announced that he's moving in with his girlfriend.  She's a lovely girl and I'm very happy that she'll be part of our family, but dammit, now that she's part of the family I have to figure her into the family knitting.  I mentioned much earlier - last March I think, that all the women were getting scarfs for Christmas.  I found out her favourite colour is pink so here we go - one more scarf to be done before Christmas in what is becoming my go-to scarf yarn CashSilk Lace by sweetgeorgia yarns.  I figure since the rest of my shopping will be done online, I can spend the time I'd normally spend plowing through herds in a mall sitting at home and knitting.  

Oh, and a pair of socks too!  Recipient to be announced.

I can do this....I think.

Saturday, 3 November 2012

Sense of Humour Failure

So.  In the continuing saga of the aftermath of hitting a deer....

A few days after hitting the deer, I was driving to work and the engine quit on me.  Not just a little cough and  a sticky transmission, I mean it stopped.  Stopped dead.  In the middle of a six lane highway during the morning rush hour.  The Gods who watch such things had a bit of mercy and I was able to get it restarted and off the road to a safe place where I called CAA and was able to get a tow back to Perth.  Faulty Crank Sensor is what I was told.  So that was replaced and as things go, it wasn't too bad.  Less than $200 for parts and labour.

The following week I took the car to the insurance-company-designated body shop in the nearby town of Carleton Place to get the grille replaced, a few dents knocked out and some paint fixed up.  They had my car for a week, during which time I was given an all-singing, all-dancing 2012 vehicle.  The loaner car and dealership shall remain anonymous to avoid a libel suit.  In all fairness, it did actually drive well and was comfortable, but I think the center console with the on-screen controls is a huge safety hazard.  After a week, I still struggled to adjust the heat, the wiper blade controls are actually complicated (this is an issue when the remnants of a hurricane are passing by) and there is no way this particular Bluetooth/hand's free system is safer than just answering a phone.

So I was thrilled beyond words when the repair facility called and said my little no-frills Jeep was ready to be picked up.  So I went in, handed in the other car, got my keys back, turned it on and saw this.

The Check Engine light is on.  The Check Engine light was not on when I dropped it off.  This is something I'm very particular about. Hell, I just spent $200 to fix it the week before so believe me, I would have noticed.

Now, I understand - I do have an older vehicle that is approaching that time of it's life when parts start to fail.  The warranty is long done and I do have to assume that there will be expenses with keeping it on the road.  But I ask you - is it just me or is it reasonable to assume that when you pick up a vehicle from a garage that has just completed an exhaustive examination of the front end and engine, and completed a weeks worth of work, that they won't give it back to you with a check engine light on?  

Sunday, 28 October 2012

Numbers 88 and 89

After more than ten years of thinking, discussing, and putting it off, we have a new addition to our family.  We have a new dog called Runner.  He's a Walker Hound that we got from the Lanark Animal Welfare Society.  They reckon he's somewhere between four and six years old (I give him two - maybe).

So here is the story behind this dog.  My husband has been hunting with the same group of men for about 40 years.  Before that, the group was their fathers.  And for all these years, the group has used Beagles to chase deer through the woods.  And all this time, my husband has never had a dog to bring to the camp.  When he was single, the guys let it pass.  When we lived overseas, the guys let it pass.  But they've been getting vocal about it now that we're back and have lots of land and he's retired so he can take care of a dog.

So we found a lovely dog.  He's people friendly; good with my son and his friends and gets along well with our other dog, Jake.  But oddly enough, this dog - despite all his people skills - has clearly never lived in a house before.  He was mystified by windows, the TV and stairs - he could get up alright, but didn't know how to come back down.  He didn't know what to do with a rawhide bone when I gave him one, had no idea what a Milk Bone biscuit was.  But he knows how to walk on a leash, was crate trained and mostly housebroken.  That being said, there have been no accidents for a few days now, so the soiling could have been a stress response.

So as part of getting the dog ready to go on the hunt, we had to get tags for him.  We live in the township of Drummond/North Elmsley so off DH went to get tags for both the dogs - it's the bylaw and since they're both fixed and chipped, it was very inexpensive.  But I had to laugh - Drummond/North Elmsley has a population of just under 7500. Of those, I figure 2/3 have a dog(s) - on my street alone, there are at least 8.  Yet when we got them tags, we got numbers 0088 and 0089.  I'm guessing dog registration isn't a big money maker for the township.

So I'll leave you with a final picture of the dogs.  This is a far more typical pose than the one above.  What you can't see is the two tails wagging furiously.

Saturday, 13 October 2012

A Sudden Moment of Quiet

It's been wild around here lately.  For many people the summer is when things get really busy with everyone moving in different directions, but for us that happens in the Fall.  I haven't done much knitting - I haven't even been able to make it out to my regular Saturday afternoon knit group, but I've certainly been busy.  I've got most of the garden put to bed and lots of food in the cold room.  We've had people come for a visit, a new wood stove was installed, Chuck and I attended the 30th birthday for the Canadian Forces Intelligence Branch Association in Ottawa (he's the VP, I had to go), closed the cottage and celebrated Thanksgiving #1.  #2 is going to happen tomorrow.

Thanksgiving #1 was a riot of a celebration this year.  Friends who live in Perth Australia were in the US visiting friends in Washington so we invited them up to spend some time with us if they could work it into their itinerary.  As it happens, they were here for Thanksgiving!  So we spent the entire weekend playing the "Do you remember when...." game.  A weekend wasn't nearly long enough with them so I think we need to start planning a return trip in earnest.

I mentioned a while ago that I had made Chuck some socks for hunting.  So today while he's off golfing in a kilt at the inaugural Kilted Classic in Pembroke, I'm able to get a picture.  The socks were a huge success; he really likes them, says they're really warm and wears them all the time.  I think I'll need to make more.

My big knitting project now is Autumn Arbor Stole by Anne Hansen.  Mine doesn't look exactly like the one on her website because I'm making the smaller version.  I'm  now 10 rows away from having the first half complete.  Lace was described to me once as having the look of a "dirty tissue" until it's been washed and blocked.  I have to agree.  This looks like a total mess here, but I think it's going to be stunning when it's finally done.

Chuck is getting ready for a few weeks of hunting.  He's been out for ducks and geese already.  So far there's only one duck in the freezer but I'm sure there will be more.  He's going moose hunting this week and deer hunting in early November.  A deer or a moose will mean we need to get a new freezer but it will also mean I won't need to buy much red meat this winter.  

Speaking of deer, I hit one coming home from work the other day.  It was dark and raining and all of a sudden I had a very different hood ornament.  Lucky for both of us, I didn't hit it very hard so didn't kill it, and there's only minor damage to my car.

Even the headlights still work.  Still, I was lucky.  It was a small deer and I wasn't going really fast - it could have been much worse.

Saturday, 22 September 2012


Was it really only yesterday that I was saying there was a glut of tomatoes and I wasn't sure what to do with them?  The universe will always seek balance and it seems it's found a way to take care of my excess.

I put my dog out this morning and he went charging off the porch, the same way he has every morning for the past year.  Today however was different.  Today he flushed out a skunk.

I'm sure you know how this is going to end.  The skunk wasn't a little one either - this was a big adult that's been around for a while that I'm sure is used to big dogs and knows exactly how to shut them down.   I got there in time to see M. Le Pew up on his front legs and knew we were done for.  Jake couldn't have been more than 3 feet from this thing when he got sprayed.  A direct hit on his chest and neck.

Now the thing with a skunk is the faster you can get the musk off, the easier the whole thing will be.  I don't have tomato juice in the house - I can't stand the stuff, but I have 18 dying tomato plants with the remains of the harvest.  So carefully dodging the dog, I ran to the garden, picked about 20 tomatoes (didn't matter at all what shape they were it, or how rotten they might have appeared) brought them back to the house, dropped them in the blender my son had left out (small mercies - normally he'd get hollered at for this) added a splash of water and made a tomato slurry.  I don't think Jake was too impressed with it, but it did cut the smell remarkably well.  This bought me enough time to go online and do a search for how to deal with skunk on dogs.  I found that most people recommend peroxide, baking soda and dish soap.  Some recommend using vinegar if bleaching the coat is an issue for the owner.  Frankly, at this point in time, I don't care if this gives him polka dots, but I have no peroxide and lots of vinegar so that's what I did.

The dog smells much better now.  Don't mistake me - this isn't a miracle cure and I don't know where I'm going to put him tonight as he isn't coming in the house but it's better than it was.  My porch however, may never recover.

Friday, 21 September 2012


Tomorrow is Mabon, the Autumn Equinox.  I'm utterly speechless - where does the time go?

So not only have I lost track of time, but there are chores to be done in the garden that need to be completed sooner rather than later.  I'd rather not spend the day out in the rain, but I might have to.  The spent stalks need to be removed and composted, onions and the rest of the carrots need to come out of the ground, and the asparagus should probably be cut down, I've got an enormous quantity of herbs that need to be cut and dried and I'm still drowning in tomatoes.  Don't misunderstand me - this isn't me complaining, I'm just a little overwhelmed by just how much food the garden produced this year.  In addition to this, my cabbages looks fantastic and I have seven sugar pumpkins - enough to make a few pies and keep me in soup for the fall.

On a totally unrelated topic, one of the things I most enjoy about living out of town (that I wasn't expecting) is watching the mist rising off the fields when the weather is right.   Tonight was particularly good - about 20 minutes after I took these pictures, you couldn't see the white house in the top photo, or the boat in the bottom one.

I realize this is a little thin - I've been a little under the weather this past week so haven't been doing much of anything other than watching TV and knitting.  I hope to be able to show what I've been working on soon.

Sunday, 16 September 2012

Not Such a Small Collection

Like most crafters, I have a selection of materials for practicing my craft.  I have lots of yarn to knit with and an increasing amount of roving for spinning.  I view these things as tools of my craft and feel it's necessary to have a broad selection to inspire and to allow me to create something on a whim.

My darling husband however, takes a different view of this.  Today after breakfast, he said he was going into town and would it be OK if he picked up a few plastic tubs for my yarn and roving.  Apparently spreading yarn through the house isn't considered interior design and he wanted to rein it in.  Sure I said - meant I didn't have to go into town.

He came back with  5 x 60L tubs.  That's 300L of storage space.  For those of you using Imperial measures, that's about 1 shit-ton.  I scoffed at this, said I wasn't going to need that much but extra room was always good and thanked him for running errands for me.

So I started the final unpack of my boxes of yarn from the move which happened just about a year ago.  I"m well aware that storing this much wool in cardboard boxes in a house prone to mice and moths is more than just flirting with disaster.  It's me giving disaster my very best "come hither" look.  Believe it or not - there was no moth damage, and no mice holes in the boxes.  I guess the cat is earning her keep after all.

During the unpack I found all sorts of lovely things - some of which I even remember buying.  There was sock yarn I'd wound into cakes (it's lovely, but honestly, I have no recollection of buying it), lots of lovely silk and wool blends (a soft spot for me) and piles of stuff I got in Asia.  I found lots of needles too (I should be good for sock needles for the rest of my life).

So imagine my surprise when I filled the six boxes.  All of them. I officially have 1 shit-ton of stuff.

Sunday, 9 September 2012

Back in the Saddle

I'm not sure when the last time I did any serious spinning was...suffice it to say that it's been a long while.  The big issue lately is that it is summer and my hands tend to sweat.  Yeah - I know - more than you needed to know but in this case it has an impact.  I received a few suggestions for how to combat this (only spin in the early morning, drink more beer) but it didn't seem to work for me. 'Cause lets face it, if the roving is felting in your hands before it even gets to the wheel, it ain't gonna spin worth a darn.

But it's September now and cooling off.  Last week I bought some merino roving and today I was at Fibrefest in Almonte.  If that wasn't going to kick me into gear, nothing would.  So when I got home, I had a look at my wheel and decided that it was time to start again.  I dusted the poor girl off, and dug out some old roving that I had bought last year, shoved the cat off the chair and settled down to spin.

Now you have to understand, I'm not at all an experienced spinner.  I have a wheel and I know how to do it - and that's about it.  So after so long away, I wasn't too surprised to find that I had issues with my tension, the results were slubby and kept breaking.  I fooled around like this for about an hour when I decided to try one more time.  I got a glass of wine (at this stage, it certainly couldn't hurt) and tried again.

And it worked.

Tuesday, 4 September 2012


I planted 18 tomato plants in the spring and now I have a glut of tomatoes.  Due to the drought, a sudden burst of rain and then another dry spell, none of them are pretty - not the kind of thing you could give to your neighbours - almost all of them are either split or quite misshapen.  But they still taste good and are perfect for cooking where it doesn`t matter what they look like.

So Chuck and I decided to make salsa.  I needed 7 cups seeded and peeled so I figured my big colander would be enough.  I don`t know what the volume of this colander is, but it was heavy when I bought it back to the house.  As it turns out, I didn't need quite this many.

I cut an X in the bottom of each tomato, tossed them a few at a time in boiling water (not a dirty pot, just really hard water)

and then into cold water.  The skins are already loose and come off with very little effort.  In fact, it took longer to write this than to get the skins off.

I then chopped a large white onion, a green pepper, 5 jalapenos, a fistful of cilantro, a touch of cumin, a can of tomato paste and 3/4 cup of vinegar.  Tossed it all together and boiled it for half an hour until it thickened up to the right consistency.

Then into jars and into the canner for 20 minutes.  I got four 500 ml jars of it.  We had a few spoonfuls left over to sample ....if you like salsa, you gotta try making your own.  This is amazing stuff!

Friday, 31 August 2012

A Moment To Relax

The last few weeks have flown past in a blaze.  I'm sure the last time I checked it was the August Civic Holiday and now it's Labour Day weekend.  Work has been busy and wearing me down so I've taken a few days off.  I'll have five days off - in a row.   The last time I had that much time off I moved.

So here I am.  It's mid-afternoon on a Friday and I've finished a sweater, and crossed the countryside checking out the newer yarn shops in the area.  I picked up some roving (100% organic merino), a silk hankie, some new yarns, buttons and generally had a marvelous time.  But the best part was reveling in the fact that today is Friday and I'm off touching yarn, not at work.

So this is the newly finished sweater.  The yarn is Jojoland.

I picked up two skeins of sock yarn too.  One by Fleece Artist

and one by Cascades Heritage.

But I think I'm most excited about the silk.  I've never worked with a hanky like this before it looks like fun - and I admit, I was sucked in by the colours.

Monday, 27 August 2012

What's goin' on?

Most days I can find something to talk about - the challenge is to find the time to write about it.

But lately, I find myself with nothing to say.  Nothing.  I have a few pictures to share later on, but I have no substance to go with them. 

And then I'm confronted by this:  Blog Stats.

People are stopping by the blog to see what's new and I have nothing to offer.  It's like when a friend drops in at home and you're out of coffee and tea, the milk is sour, the juice is dodgy, the beer is warm and the dog just threw up on the kitchen floor.

I suppose part of the problem is a valued colleague has just left work for a new opportunity and while I do sincerely wish her the very best, it's left me in a really tight spot.  I don't feel I have enough knowledge to complete tasks, and I certainly don't have enough time to complete my tasks, her tasks, and support another employee as they come up to speed.  I find this to be a stressful situation as I really dislike looking incompetent and missing deadlines.

The reality is something has to give.  This week it was the blog.

Wednesday, 15 August 2012

Knitting for Kids

My 11 year old son is a big fan of hand knits.  In the heat of summer, when we were melting on the porch, he mentioned that he wanted a new sweater for the fall (wool, solid colour, gansey style, no frills) and has been eyeing my socks.

He's a bright lad and has already figured out that nothing makes me happier than to knit for my family.  So I thought I'd go one further and make him some socks.  I know it's a bit of a gamble to knit socks for kids as they are so hard on their clothes but what's life without a little risk.

I also wanted them to be a secret - a christmas present perhaps.  So I decided to knit them from work.  Brilliant!  He'd never see them here and then I could just bring them home and tuck them under the tree.  So I cast on at work one day and started knitting him socks.

The thing about knitting at work is I have very limited window of opportunity to get anything done.  It's just over lunch.  So this sock has taken me about a month to knit - lunches only, Monday to Friday. 

Today I finished the first sock, sat back and had a good look at it and you know what?  I have run right into the issue with knitting for kids.

My son grew.  The socks won't fit.

Saturday, 11 August 2012

End of the Drought?

It's Saturday again and the most exciting thing is that it has rained.  I don't mean just a little tease of a sprinkle, I mean measurable rainfall.  In some ways it's very good - a huge relief that might be in time for some crops.  But truthfully, there has been rain for the past week and my yard  is now a different colour - it's green again.  We need to cut the grass and I think all the little slips of trees that I planted in the spring might even survive.

There has been some knitting happening too.  I've finished a sock and most of a mitten.  Before anybody asks, no - there's no second-sock syndrome or second-mitten syndrome happening.  I simply don't know how I want to finish the mitten so there it sits on the needles waiting for me to make a decision.  I'm leaning towards a very simple cuff - but part of me wants to make something big and extravagant.

As for the sock, I finished it and grafted the toe late last night while watching TV.  I even started casting on for the second sock but when I couldn't correctly count to 64 (to make sure I had the right number of stitches) I gave up and went to bed.

Which is when I decided that maybe this much rain isn't a good thing.

There is about 2 cups of water in the bowl.

Saturday, 4 August 2012


Ta Da!!!  Here it is.  Butternut, designed by Anne Hansen - another project done for GiftStash 2012.

While it felt like it was a quick knit, it actually took just over a month.  It was done in the evenings sitting in front of the TV as well as a few weekend mornings sitting on the porch.  What I like is that I'm not really taking any time out of anything else - I can't just sit and watch TV - I need to do something with my hands so this feels like I'm not "wasting" time in front of the tube.

There's also an interesting lesson in economics here.  This skein of yarn (Marrakesh, from Handmaiden Fine Yarn
was purchased for about $36 (CAD).

My initial thought was that was a scandalous amount of money to spend on a single skein of yarn and I was somewhat resistant to the idea.  When I was shopping, I couldn't decide so I polled a pile of other knitters on what I should get for a pattern I was going to start and this was their vote.  But here's the thing.  The skein was 100g - just like so many others I've bought, but unlike the others,  it was 700m of yarn.  700m....that's 0.7km of silk and baby camel yarn.  I didn't think of it at the time, but you can make A LOT of stuff with 700m of yarn.

This was the original scarf.

And I still have 140m left.  It's not a huge amount, but with some careful planning I can get a third something out of the skein.

So two silk and camel scarves and a future consideration for $36....not a bad deal at all.