Friday, December 31, 2010

Another year; another bunch of UFO's.

Well, here it is, December 31st, 2010.

Yup, another year done.

This wasn't my most prolific year in a number of field's. eg. blogging, knitting, quilting, cooking, cleaning...and it was, what it was.

I went back to work! Would not of predicted that one!

I definitely accomplished more spinning than any other year; more about that later.

I'm going to guess, that stash enhancement was somewhat less than it has been in previous years. I say "guess" because there is no way that I am actually going to try to document and keep a tally of such an achievement! That would just take up too much knitting time!

Speaking of knitting time...
Here's the recipient of a knitted toque. He wore it most of Christmas morning and has been seen wearing it out and about since then. Yay, a satisfied customer!
The excitement you're witnessing is his reaction to opening this.
One of the top gifts this year.

Another satisfied customer is the recipient at our clinic gift exchange. This was a fun, quick knit and I think that it turned out beautifully. Isn't she cute? She's always cold too, so when a knitter gets a cold person's name for Christmas...well, stand back; there's gonna be some stash diving!

So when I last blogged I was preparing to attend my Annual Knitting Christmas Party and just in time too. It seemed that this was just the evening that many of us needed to get into the Christmas spirit. Good friends, good food and good times was all it took. This was one of the treasures I brought home from that gift exchange.

A cute little knitting Snowbaby. I love him. I took him out the next morning and inspected and studied and look:

He's keeping the yarn (real yarn!) that's he's using for his sock in a bag on his back! Who thinks of this stuff? He now sits in a place of honour on my mantel in my bedroom and makes me smile whenever I look at him. Thank-you fellow knitter.
We were all treated to so many gifts...a lovely knitting bag, a calendar, some chocolate, a "Love Soup" mix (Yum!), a crocheted topped tea towel, Christmas Tea Towels folded to look like a purse and a tool kit! And that was before Secret Santa and the exchange!
Let me tell you a little about our exchange. There's a lot of laughing and a lot of oooo's and awww's, but it's not pretty! It's down right cut throat at times and usually there is a battle over not one, but several of the gifts brought to the party. And you know what?
"It's not a party until somebody shoves yarn down her bra." Just sayin'.
Even then, it's still not safe from those thieving thieves that call themselves 'friends'! I just think that when pretty sparkly yarn finds it's way into a person's bra; then it should be allowed to come home with that person.
I hope the restaurant lets us come back next year.
There were even some "extra" secret Santa gifts and I was lucky enough to be sent home with a bag that read, "Do not open until Dec. 25th". I love getting gifts like that. There are always so few gifts that I don't know what they are and that are really a surprise under the tree. My Avon lady always leaves me something as a surprise and I've joined sock yarn gift exchanges, but then you still know that you're getting yarn and a pattern, don't get me wrong, it was still fun! I made it quite clear that I thought it was time the kids put a little something under there for their favourite son and I gave each other the same thing. Good times.
Anyway, back to the knitter's secret Santa gift...I was lucky enough to receive a wonderful batt of 50% mohair and 50% lambswool to spin! (Again I'm sorry, but 5 photos is all this blog can handle; so I'll show you another year!) It's a gorgeous charcoal grey that I know exactly what I want to spin it into and what it's going to go with!
Thank-you Secret Santa. Nobody gets me like you. All my family could say is, "What is it?" with that look of serious doubt about my sanity and total misunderstanding of my excitement while hugging and petting and giggling.
I love my knitters.
So much so, that this was my gift to them.

14 grams of handspun 100% Merino that I named Blue Christmas. It's a 2 ply of hand dyed roving one of Royal and one of Jade. I was going to call it Royal Jade, but then it was a Christmas gift and tada! Blue Christmas was born. I'm pretty happy with it, but I think that I'm not spinning my singles tight enough. I keep trying to spin thinner singles and while they may indeed be thinner, they certainly 'bloom' after plying and washing and drying (again, there are some neat photos of this process...for next year).

That sort of shows how Christmas went around here. My dad, my brother and his family came here for Christmas dinner and once again there was good food and good fun.

The title of this post refers to UFO's. What I've shown you, however, are some of my FO's. As of December 1st, I knit only, and I mean, only, for other people. It was gift knitting everyday; all the time and I was o.k. with it, but still did not finish all that I wanted to. I had some gift giving grace due to the fact that one gift could wait until the new year and I thought I might be able to do it too, but then I read the Yarn Harlot. The significance of that post?

I spent the entire day yesterday tidying/playing in my basement/studio/room. I was touching yarn and needles and patterns, but I wasn't getting any knitting done!

Cleaning, tidying, organizing and controlling clutter are not my strong suits. I'm more of an idea kind of girl and it requires a tremendous amount of energy for me to remain focused or even interested in completing these kind of tasks. The only saving grace is that this is my room and when I do clean this one, it stands a much better chance of actually staying the way I left it as opposed to the rest of the house. While I usually end up spending New Year's Day tucked away in my haven, this Christmas had my room just one box away from a Hoarder's Intervention. (Shudder. Can you imagine? A crew just shows up at your door because you've been ratted out as a person who can't seem to say 'no' to yarn? Or fabric?) So, I started at one end of the room and carefully moved through the whole space. I was feelin' pretty good, and then my husband came down and asked what I was doing?

"I'm tidying and organizing," I said, while standing just a little bit taller and grinning, "all the knitters are doing it!" (again, thank-you Stephanie)

"You're just moving stuff from one side of the room to the other. What have you thrown out?"

"--------- "

He decided that he didn't want to go there...again, and went back upstairs.

'Thrown out?' Who said anything about throwing anything out?

I'm not finished, but both kids have noticed a BIG difference and what is left is clean and far more accessible and far less intimidating, but it will have to wait for another day, because today?



After that I will once again look at my bunch of UFO's and figure out which one to tackle first. How do you decide?

Thursday, December 16, 2010

Same Bat Place, Same Bat Channel...









Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Attention Cat People!

This one's for you Transit Knitter!
You know who you are. People who get cats, or at least the cats allow you to be a part of their lives.

But first, Flora. Mexican Flora. I finally got to the point last night where I crawled into bed and said, "Can we please go back to Mexico? It's warm there!"
With the wind chill, we're in the -20's, I don't know what that is in Fahrenheit anymore, but it's cold! And more snow is falling as we speak. I know the snow is supposed to make you feel all Christmassy, but I'm not feelin' it this year; not yet, anyway...I just keep trying to think of ways of doing it, without doing it BIG!

Anyway, Flora.

And Fauna.
This was our resident Iguana. He/she lived right beside our Casita and would come out to get warm (see, everybody's doing it!) everyday. On our first day at the resort, when I was being Joe-tourist by pointing at everything and saying, "Look at that! See that?!" One of the employees told me the Iguana's are "good chopped up in Tacos".
I hope he was kidding. I thought he was, but the more I thought about it, I wasn't so sure.

So in keeping with the Cat Loving-Fauna theme; if you need a good laugh then I recommend that you set aside a few minutes and go visit Glenna C. Watch the video she found; then, sit back and watch the other's that come up after that one is finished. Be warned, though, DO NOT have a beverage in or near your mouth when watching them. I personally know at least two of the cats that you'll be watching and one of them lives with me now. Honestly, watching these made me laugh harder than I have in a long time! Thanks Glenna; thanks Simon!

I still wish I was in Mexico.

Friday, December 10, 2010


Thursday's are my favourite day, as you might well know already. There is nothing routinely happening here at Creativehands Central; so I look forward to the day in the week where no body's due here early in the morning and there is nothing booked that I need to rush out to. The icing on the cake, that is Thursday, is that it is also Knit Night.
Yesterday, however, was far from any routine Thursday.
My daughter was in a Volleyball tournament and would I come? Could I drive?
Be at the school at 830.
I am not what you would call, athletically inclined, but when I was a girl.....
I was on the school Volleyball team...and we wore awful pleated skirt uniforms to play in too!
Anyway, I showed up; ON TIME...I'm really trying to make that more of the usual instead of the some girls to the tournament and dutifully sat there knitting and cheering as they lost 8 out of 8 games.

Here a couple of things to make note of as far as our team went. These are junior girls and we had grades 4-6 represented. Have a look at that bench...we had a big team! Everyone of those girls got a turn to play---every game; each rotation meant one girl off and the next one on. I thought that was great. They also improved as the day went on and were playing much better by the last game.
Maybe next year.
Then it was knit night.
Cookie Exchange Knit Night. See? Cookies and Knitting!
For a few years we combined cookies and gift exchange and dinner and....
All on one night! Too Much!
Now we break it up a bit and exchange cookies one week....and everybody shows up.
We plan our dinner for the next week with gifts, etc....and everybody show up.

It's so much fun to have these two get-togethers for fourteen very special reasons.

We even let some mice join the fun. He won't be bothering us anymore though; I took care of it.
This morning I was finally home and alone, so I dug out the Christmas presents that I had put away to get a handle on what I did, and didn't, still need to take care of while continuing to quietly repeat my mantra, "It's not going to be big this year. It's not going to be big this year." Then I wrapped most of the presents, feeling quite proud of myself, thinking, 'I don't want to just survive these holidays' (which let's face it, is the whole month) 'I want to enjoy them and if I'm all stressed and running around all the time..."ENJOY" is not the word that would come to mind.'
Then the power went out. Heck, even before I finished wrapping and tidying up the wrapping paper, the power was out. So I sat down to knit.
Knitting this month is a tricky trick.
There's the knitting for people that you don't live with; so it's o.k. to knit that stuff at home. When other people are home.
There's the knitting for people that you don't live with, but can't knit when other people are around because the knitting is too complicated for outside observers. AKA: Quiet Knitting.
There's the knitting for people that you do live with that you can knit when you are out at knit night or waiting at dance class or drum lessons or dentist appointments or maybe even work.
There's the knitting for people that you do live with that you cannot knit when you are out because it takes more brain cells than you have available at that time. AKA: Alone Knitting. This last one is the trickiest of December Knitting, but I think that I've got it covered pretty well this time.
I made a hat.
It's wrapped so I can't show you, but I like it. Who knows how it'll go over Christmas morning. Do fourteen year old boys like their hats to match their coats? I'm really trying not to dwell on it.
Back to life without power. It is amazing how quiet the house is when the power is off. Luckily I had already turned on the gas fireplace, so I had a nice warm place to settle in and I did knock off a few rows of a hat for somebody that doesn't live with me, but you know what else you can do when the power is off and nobody is here to bug you?
Spin. I spun and I spun and I spun.
My bobbin overfloweth. Sigh.
After awhile the power came back on, I could tell because all the house noises started again, and I went down to finish the laundry that had stopped mid-cycle, wait for the water to get hot, so I could have my bath and have a cup of tea.
I shared this tea with my lovely knitting friends; you know...tea and cookies...and it was a hit...even with the non-tea drinkers! It's a nice festive beverage to drink...that's o.k. to drive after!
You know where else you can have tea and cookies and knitting?

In Mexico and you don't have to lift a finger! (Except to knit)

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Catching Up

Made it to Mexico and home again, safe and sound! The holiday was fabulous and we're looking forward to another one about now?

First and foremost...Seascape was finished and blocked and dried in time to make it to the resort. I wasn't especially pleased with my blocking, but I've taken some steps to correct any concerns that I had. (Cough---KnitPick Blocking Mats---Cough---on order---)

I need to be doing about a dozen other things right now; so here it is, a drive by holiday review. I've got some more pictures to post another time...I'll try to anyway.

This is the view from the room. That's right, an infinity pool right outside our door! I would walk that little river, under the bridge to the swim up bar, gather a couple of Raspberry Margarita's (yummo!) and walk back to enjoy a little sunshine in my own private pool.

This is the view from the beach. Here a nice fellow would bring me the Raspberry Margarita.

This is the view from the bar where I switched it up for a Strawberry Daiquiri.

And on our final night we played a little chess. You know it's a good night when your husband ends up wearing your new lace wrap.

I won.

Friday, November 5, 2010

In The Hopes

In the hopes that fellow bloggers will post something to entertain me (Cough, TDC) I will put a little something out there myself.

The knitting world just gets smaller and smaller...I was reading the Yarn Harlot the other day and enjoyed hearing about her latest sock. I followed her link and considered purchasing the pattern; I still might, but I actually have to check and see if I already did. ;o)
And the story kept running through my mind...mmmm, something's familiar about all this...

Ah Hah! I said. I have that yarn! The name felt good, but really it was the colour that called to me. (I love the names of yarn; sometimes that's about the only reason I buy it; it's not like I need it or anything, but you already knew that.) I decided to make some wrist warmers for a friend of mine; I have the first one completed and have started on the second, but I gotta say...I really like these, and I'm a little doubtful (and feeling guilty about my hesitation) that they'll actually get to the person that I started them for. I'm a baaaad knitter, or maybe just a bad friend.

Seascape Update:

Have completed the 6 repeats that the pattern called for and have begun #7. I anticipate completing #8 before I begin the end chart and blocking. Two weeks to go...I hope I make it. True to Noro form there's a colour glitch and I'm just living with this one. I have, however, taken the appropriate steps to ensure consistency in the rest of the wrap.

Because that's what I do.

Also to be completed in the next two weeks. :o)

"A Bamboo Tank Top" using Dye-Version Bamboo Sock. It's 93% Bamboo and 7% Lycra; therefore, there is a real spring to this yarn. It is absolutely wonderful to work with and I have no trouble staying true to working with it daily.

At this point in the pattern I'm working a simple 4 row repeat, and 3 of those rows are knit. Why then when I sat down earlier did I have to tink 3/4 of a 210 sts. row because I couldn't work the one round of 'YO, K2tog" a few times? Simple right? Geez! I'm sure glad it's so pretty; I was happy to spend the extra time with it.

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Hyper and Unfocused

Must be left over from Halloween! Or maybe this little lady cast a spell on us all...

This will be a bit of a random post in keeping with the "unfocused" theme.
I wasn't feeling well for the past couple of days; turns out there is actually something going around where you're tired, have a runny nose and a headache that makes it feel like your head is going to fall off.
Even if no wine was involved.
So yesterday, after a serious afternoon nap, I actually had some energy to make a decent dinner and I was so pleased with myself that I made sure that I had evidential proof of said dinner.

It's Chicken and Pears with Almonds and Gorgonzola, loosely based on a recipe from the Alive magazine available at you local health food store. When I showed my husband the picture of the original he said mine was better. Brownie points for him.
I invented this side dish of lightly steamed broccoli and cauliflower tossed with leaks and garlic that had been sauteed in the pan used to prepare the chicken dish.

The evening went kind of hairy after that. Later on I was helping my son try to find his ski boots, which we never did, but that led us into some uncharted territory that is 'the crawl space'. I don't often get down there, because whoever built this house saw fit to build a crawl space where you can't stand up straight and it hurts all of our backs to go in there! So stuff gets shoved in there and moved around and forgotten about and added to etc. etc.
This is particularly not helpful for those of us who are prone to the 'hoarding' factor; especially with yarn.
I found yarn in the crawl space. I sort of knew it was there. I sort of remembered that I had it. I just don't ever remember feeling that overwhelmed by it before.
I have my studio stash...which is plentiful.
I have a few (cough-several) rubbermaid containers waiting to go---either to the crawl space or away; again, plentiful.
And once again I've encountered the Crawl Space Yarn. CSY.
**New t.v. show idea: CSI-CSY! The following show contains material that may be offensive to some viewers. Viewer discretion is advised.
Anyway, I guess not being able to find the boots and seeing all that yarn that I still actually remember what it was that I wanted to do with it all left me feeling a bit unsettled. Put that together with an afternoon nap, late evening dessert and a snoring husband and you've got a night full of second guessing and self negative talk.
I was setting myself up for quite a tailspin and feeling pretty badly about myself and my short-comings and choices I've made, projects I will never complete...dreams that will never come true. NOT A GOOD NIGHT!!!
So, I got up, made another cup of Bedtime Tea and, "Thank God for Knitting", is all I have to say. I quietly worked on Seascsape and found my rhythm once again. I was able to quiet the voices that tell me "I'll never finish all this!" And shortly after midnight I was able to get to sleep.
This morning I awoke embracing the Hope for Creativity that I count on to get me through the hustle and bustle of the life we are a part of. (This morning's mantra is, "Thank God for Sunshine".) If Hope for Creativity looks like too much yarn to some people, well so be it. I'll get to it someday. (It's funny, that same Alive magazine where I found the chicken recipe also had an article on procrastination, and it was written by somebody that somehow got inside my head and shared with everybody how my thoughts and days go by! Scarey.)
A few hours later I find myself sitting at Tim Hortons checking emails and there is one waiting for me with one of my favourite subject lines:
Knitting Question.
"...What do you ladies do with your left thumb when you are knitting? In particular when you are doing the purl stitch. Does it sit nicely in the palm of your left hand, does it leap back and forth to the needle, does it do something in between? Inquiring minds want to know."

Well, was my face red!! Here I was in a coffee shop, reading an email about knitting and me without my knitting!! I tried knitting in mid air without yarn and needles, but it really wasn't very helpful. I didn't care that maybe I looked like one of those crazy ladies; I just wasn't getting the proper results to give my inquiring minded friend the answer she deserved and needed!

So, here's a picture to put it all into perspective. Mostly my thumb stays pretty much in this position. It might move back and forth a little bit, but usually it sits here to do the job at hand.

I picked up an addition to my knitting library the other day.

I'll tell you more about it another day...maybe I'll bring it to knitting on Thursday...but I have to get going now. There's a dog that wants fed and a girl who doesn't have her dance stuff to get ready for her 3 hour dance class after her Volleyball tryout.

That's Seascape peeking at the corner there. I think I'm going to do a couple of extra repeats on that because I don't see how it's going to block to the given dimensions on the pattern and I think that that's a reasonable conclusion since the yarn is quite a bit different than the one called for.

I've really enjoyed writing and sharing this with you today. Thanks for taking the time to read.

Monday, November 1, 2010

Let's Do The Time Warp...

Everybody make that sound you make when you're traveling back in time. You know kind of Twilight Zoney.

It's still October. In fact Halloween started on or about the 28th this year; so here's a recap...

I went out and had lunch with my dad on Thursday and stopped at a couple of shops in Shelburne on the way home. Yes, I should have been coming straight home, but I chose to honour my mother and myself and stop at a couple of shops we would've both enjoyed.

Shop #1: Cobwebs and Caviar. I went in for Halloween decorations and found quilting fabric. It's nice how things work out sometimes.

They had quite a nice little selection of cats and yarn had to come home with me.

Shop #2: Woolly's Yarns. I went in just to look and to cheer up a bit; it worked! Well, the cheering up part did, but the just looking part? Not so much.

The lady at the store asked me what I was going to make with the yarn? I told her I'll find something in that magazine. Still looking.
The Halloween cat is new this year to my collection. Funny, the ladies in the store where I got it were quite happy to see it go. It plays Black Magic Woman. My husband is happy to see it go away too.

October 29th, 2010. (Imagine some kind of ticker tape noice)
I went to carve a pumpkin with my 4 year old niece. We had a great time and because I was in the area...I stopped at Georgetown Yarn and Crafts. I've been meaning to get there for years, and again, instead of coming straight home I visited yet another yarn shop.

I mostly hit the sale bin there...but not everything makes it to a blog photo shoot, now does it?


So we're right on Halloween's tail; I've visited two yarn shops and continue to knit for Mexico. You know what else I did, keeping in the spirit of the Big Day?

I spun Orange Yarn. Blood Orange Yarn by Dyehard Yarns, from Pick Up Sticks to be exact. It smells like an orange too, because I rinsed it in Citrus Soak.

It's fine. I know it's fine, but I honestly thought I was doing a lot better on this one. I probably was when I WAS ALONE AND NOT BEING INTERRUPTED EVERY 5 MINUTES!! "What ya doin'?" "Can you take me to Courtney's now?" "How about now?" "That's gonna take forever!" "Now?"

"What's for dinner?"

So enough about yarn (Like there can actually ever be enough about yarn!), here's a question for you.

Who are these people???

Hint: "Out Damn Spot! Out!"

Monday, October 25, 2010

Awww, The Comforts of Home

Honestly, I just make these titles up as the page opens, and sometimes they're bang on!

So today I'm going to take you back, bring you up to date and back again.

Are you ready?

Get set?


A couple of weeks, too recent, I'm going to go a little further.

Several years ago a dear, dear friend of mine left me. Too dramatic?

Her husband kidnapped her? Too harsh.

O.K. fine. My friend moved.

Happy? Well I wasn't, but thankfully we live in an age where distance seems to matter less and less. Between Long Distance plans, emails, blogs and even snail mail we have kept in touch through the good and the bad of these past few years.

A couple of weeks ago...I received a little of the 'good'.

Chris made me some socks.

Somebody made socks for me.

If you think hand knit socks are wonderful things, well, "gifted hand knit socks" just ROCK THE HOUSE!!

Chris moved someplace where it's usually nice and warm...she says it's just hot. I wanted to send her some pictures of our fall colours. Last week we woke up to something looking a lot like this (everybody I live with was Not so much. In fact there may have been some words unbefitting a knitter uttered); so I was a little worried that I had missed my opportunity.
I took these photos today in my front yard. (I just wrote yarn instead of yard...hehehe)

I'm sitting outside with an Ice Cap (Mocha), I have a light spring jacket on and I think I'm a little overdressed. We're in for a mild week and after that little scare/reminder last week that this wonderful summer will indeed come to an end, we need to make sure that we enjoy every last little morsel of it.

Then I went out back, so that some of the local wildlife could be included in the photo-op.

Chris loves local wildlife, and local wildlife loves Chris. And I do too, thanks Chris, I love my socks. You did a fantastic job. In fact, what cast on do you use? It's nice and a good way!

O.K. back a little again, I was out for a walk just when the leaves really got into their changing mode and stopped to get a shot of one of my favourite trees on our street. I took this with my iPhone and always try to work around the wires that are right in the way! Every year they're in my way. Huh.

Here's me and my iPhone again.

This was a "stop and smell the roses" kind of shot. I was on my way to work (hehe work---making babies---hehe); was running a little behind (nothing new) and thought, "Oh, what a lovely sunrise this morning. I'm late. I better get going." But as I backed out of the garage, I thought, "NO! Life is all about taking the time to notice these little gems and NOBODY is going to take that lesson away from me." So, I pulled into our back lot, got out of the van and took a couple of shots.
I wasn't able to spend a long time with the view, and here's the kicker; if I hadn't been rushing out to work, I might not have really noticed it all! I'd be staying cozy in my house. So, while I may have appeared to be joining the "hurry up and get to it" crowd, I was actually able to catch something beautiful because of it, and because I'm learning to slow down and appreciate these treasures...that's what I did.
Did that make sense?

Thursday, October 21, 2010

Go Here!

I was hoping to copy and paste a comment that I had left on one of my favourite blogs, but apparently that doesn't work. So go visit Glenna (especially if you're a Cast Off) to see what I had to say.
I would just like to say that I think Glenna and Wendy both rock with their generosity and giveaway fun and that Maria rocks in the "Wow factor" department.
And Wannietta just plain ROCKS!!
I don't have very much energy today and just trying to get done a few little tasks is really draining, but links on blogs are fun and here at Wine, Wool and Whoppers...we're all about fun!
I'm looking forward to knitting tonight (because it's Thursday), but to switch things up a bit, I'm taking my spinning wheel! I tell you, you just never know what's going to happen at one of our get-togethers...spinning, knitting, crocheting, embroidery, thing you can count on though, is laughter. Lots and lots of laughter.
It's good for the soul.

Monday, October 18, 2010

All Wool, All The Time...Except When It's Cotton

So let's recap.
Saturday I went to a yarn shop. I won yarn. I bought yarn.
Wanna know what I did on Sunday?

I made yarn! And it soooo ssssoooofffftttt....
Fleece Artist Merino Sliver, 2 ply, spun and plied on my Ladybug. It was really lovely fibre to work with, although it didn't go quite as smoothly as I had remembered the first bobbin going, but that's what I get for taking so long between spinning days.

When I had finished plying the yarn and was tidying up and getting ready to rejoin the family...I once again picked up some fibre that I bought in Haliburton while at the cottage a couple of years ago. Everytime I'm spinning, I pick it up, I look at it, think about it, remember that I bought it so that I could practise, because it's really not a colour way that I'm too fond of. And wonder if I'm ever really going to use it, but something about the fall weather and the fall colours wouldn't let me part with it or put it away. So last night, in bed, while watching "The Next Iron Chef"...

I pre-drafted. Doesn't everybody?

The overflowing basket is even somewhat compressed. One long, continuous piece of fibre....oooohhhhh.

This morning after everybody left I decided that I would just do a little spinning.

I ended up doing two passes on the bobbin and only quit because, 1) I had told myself I was going to quit half-way through the first pass and 2) the roving got away from me and broke; so I took it as a sign that it was a good place to stop for today.

All my other spinning has come from batts or those thick braided type samples that you need to divide and then predraft. I quite enjoy working with this long pencil (?) roving; I'm getting a finer single and I've got hours and hours of spinning enjoyment yet to go!

My plan was to alternate spinning wheels so that I get proficient on both my Ladybug and my Bee....So much for that plan!

I'm going to predraft some "Blood Orange" fibre tonight (today) though, to spin on my Bee tomorrow!


One of my finishing projects that I was whining about on Saturday was this top. Hollyhock Ridge from Knitter's Summer 2010 K99 using Mission Falls 1824 Cotton. (The amounts called for were bang on with just enough left over to make some baby hats, I think.) While my dessert was baking yesterday, (Creme Brulee---it was o.k. I've made better) I wove in all my ends and felt really good about the whole thing, because I wasn't "just" knitting; no siree Bob, I was baking dessert!

Just like now, I'm not "just fiddling on the computer"; I'm doing laundry, and planning dinner, and thinking about dentists appointments, need to get new glasses...

Women make the best multi-taskers.

Saturday, October 16, 2010

All The World's A Stage!!


Today, October 16th, 2010, I...(well, I'm not sure what to fill in here)...

a) Enjoyed a lovely, sunny day?
b) Finally got the fish tank cleaned?
c) Experienced, in all it's glory, the wonderment of being the mother of an eleven year old female ie. preteen?
d) Found out I was indispensable?

If you guessed e) All of the above? Well then you've just earned yourself a Hero Biscuit!

What I had planned to do was go here for this for the day. Not too much to ask for, I don't think. I didn't make it to Rhinebeck (again). I don't plan on going to the Creative Festival this year. And I've bailed on my plans to go to Vogue Knitting Live. SO I DON'T THINK I WAS ASKING FOR TOO MUCH FOR A FEW HOURS AT ONE OF MY FAVOURITE KNITTING SHOPS.

Apparently, I was.

Yarns on Stage unveiling was scheduled for 11; I was a bit late...had to organize the fold...but thankfully did not miss the big moment!

Some beautiful yarns were introduced and a lot of wonderful knitters gathered to share in the excitement. Above are just two of the examples....(that came home with me). You can take advantage of the new yarns by visiting Pick Up Sticks yourself!

These yarns were purchased today (I tried to rotate the photo---sorry) to hopefully complete a design idea I have that also involves this:

I picked this up last time I was out to see Connie.

So anyway, the yarns are debuted and the fondling and enabling began...and my phone rang. "Yes, I'm here. Yes, I just got here. Yes, I know what the children are doing (well, supposed to be doing)."

A short while later, and I mean SHORT WHILE, the phone rings again. "No, I can't get the fish that are hard to get, because...I'M HERE!!! KEEP TRYING!!"
I had been away from the house for less than an hour. Connie encouraged me to turn off the phone, but I didn't.
A little more yarn, (in fact I WON some yarn! Connie always has great door prizes) a few snacks and....once again, the phone rings. I go outside for this call, because all the knitters (me being one of them) were having a good time and it was difficult to hear anybody on the phone.
I pointed out that nobody else was getting called, but by the third call I knew my time away was coming to a close. I had made an error in judgement thinking that the house, family, dog, cats and fish would survive if I went to play with yarn for a few HOURS!!!
Honestly, I had packed a bag of Show and Tell. Some items that needed finishing...just a little finishing. I had packed a sketch book to work out some design ideas. Some yarn that I had purchased on my last visit that I thought I might wind there....because I can't seem to get it done here...and start on a little project. I even threw Seascape in there! All told, I probably packed more yarn than I could work with in a week and here's the kicker....
I KNEW I would be buying more yarn (it's what I do), but I wanted to make sure that I had something to work on; I even made sure I had any needles that I would need!

On my final pass around this Sublime Soy Cotton called to me from the sale bin and...into the basket she went! What a beautiful colour; she was meant to come home with me.

When I came home I dove into (literally) the fish tank cleaning; ended up taking a run into town to get a new filter. All the fish are back in the tank alive and well; it's nice to be able to see them again.

I managed to put together a Spaghetti and Meatball dinner, my mom's recipe, which was my aunt's recipe and it always makes me feel soooo good to recapture that taste/memory.

And now I sit here trying not to hear the 13-16 year olds playing in a rock band son's a drummer. The band always practises at the drummer's house, it's a rule.
I may be sounding hard done by here and I know I'm not! I'm very blessed and am grateful for all that I have, but sometimes.......

Luckily this morning I was able to capture this bit of beauty that I now look for every October...

Two years ago I saw this image when I was recuperating in my living room.

I think it looks like an angel. An angel of light.

I'm once again reminded to slow down and just enjoy the beauty that surrounds us everyday, and that includes fish tank and drums kits.

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

And a One, And a...

As promised, here is the Shell from Knitter's Summer 2010 K99 issue. I'm using the specified yarn and have even gone with 2 of the 4 recommended colours! If the store had had the other 2 I would've gone with them too! I'm using my Signature Needles and loving the whole experience!
This is my "go to project" while I'm catching up on Glee episodes. I can knit and tap my feet to the music! I'm a total Gleek and proud of it!


I've completed the second repeat on Seascape, a whole four days ahead of schedule!

This is turning out to be a pretty easy-going pattern. Notice I did not say easy pattern, that would just be tempting the knitting gods too much, but 'easy-going', as in, I was able to take it to an appointment I had yesterday and knit away, using the chart and all, without screwing it up! I found another knitter in the waiting room, a nice lady named Pat (What is it with me and knitting and Pats?) and we entertained ourselves (and a few others too) knitting away in the corner until our names were called. I owe her $5 because I got called first, even though she was there before me. At least that's what she said, we did not shake hands on it or anything. ;o)

Since you now know that row 23 is my favourite row, I thought you might be interested in my second favourite's row #1. These two rows have straight forward knits, yarn overs and k2tog and SSK decreases. I love SSK; it's such a sweet decrease. A stitch that just gets me swooning, however, is a 'Centre Double Decrease'! OOOhhhh, I just get so excited to work those and with this pattern I get to do six on every right side row!

Some of my favourite stitches combined with some of my favourite yarn? No wonder I'm making such good progress!

Monday, October 4, 2010

Countdown to Mexico!

I hesitated using this title for a blog post for a couple of reasons; not the least of which is, if I say it out loud, then I'm somehow more accountable and in knitting that isn't something that always works out for me. (Cough) What Knitting Olympics? (Cough)

But here goes.

In November my husband and I are going to Mexico; so in true Creativehands fashion I have an overwhelming desire to knit and sew a whole new wardrobe to wear on the holiday. I already found a couple of bathing suits that I'm happy with, but I'll need to wear other stuff too!

The other challenge I face is that fall is upon us here in Ontario and there are a number of previously started sweaters calling to me; not to mention all the bags and bags of yarn waiting patiently to be made into something that will keep me warm and not just fashionably stylish on the shorter colder days that lay instore for us.

Where to start?
Well, I have a tank top from this past summer's Knitters that should be ready to show you in a day or two and I'll talk about how I handled that one then. See? Again with the accountability. Today, however, I'll talk about something that is apparently near and dear to a number of us Cyber-Knitters.
I was catching up with Maria and what should I see?
She's knitting Seascape as well! It's kind of getting spooky with Maria; on more than one occasion we've picked the same project, yarn or fabric. It's really nice to leave her a comment too, because she usually responds back and that makes me feel special. (smiley face)
Last evening, after I completed the first repeat of Chart B (it has to be repeated 6 times) I got out my calendar to see if there was any realistic chance that this could be done; it's totally doable! (Once again, the naive knitter cast on more than she could chew) Even if I only do one repeat a week I still have a week for finishing, blocking etc. I am going to definitely try to get through more than one repeat per week, it's a 44 row repeat of 83 stitches with a purl every 0ther row pattern. I'm actually hoping to complete a repeat every two days! Awww, the exuberance of losing touch with reality. Sweet. There is one teeny, tiny, itsy, bitsy problem with my plan.

I'm using Noro.

The love affair continues with their new lace weight Seku, but it has presented some new challenges as well as maintaining the well documented existing ones---hello knots! There is no way to work this yarn as a centre pull. Oh, I guess if you rewound it yourself, but you'd have to wind it off the outside to make a centre pull; so really, still winding off from the outside! I don't usually knit this way and have to keep making adjustments for that. It also has a very tight twist that spins back on itself if you've taken too much off the ball. I've already undone a bunch of my own knots and had to cut the yarn once because I could not undo one of my own knots. Then came the Noro Knot! Wiped out a whole colour sequence! It's a two ball project, I'm just knitting it as it appears, and it would just be silly to buy an extra ball of lace weight yarn.

Buying extra yarn? Who's ever heard of such a thing. What I want to know is though....

Since when does lace weight look like this??? I admit the nubbly quality is one that I find appealing in most of Noro's yarns, but lace? Full, flat and unspun? I'll knit it, but I won't be happy about it.
Chocolate had to be brought in to the mix.

So, after my green tea, my chocolate and a tissue if need be, I'll see if I can't get to row 22 by the end of today. I don't know if this is weird or not, but my favourite row is 23.

Don't you have a favourite row when you knit? Just me? Oh.

I'll keep you posted as to the other projects making it to THE COUNTDOWN TO MEXICO!!