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!!

Saturday, October 2, 2010

It's Official.

I saw a Junko. AKA a Snowbird.

And that was my shortest blog entry ever.

Friday, October 1, 2010

October is here...What?! Already!

Doesn't this just look like the best way to cozy up on a fall or (gasp) winter day? It's also the shot I use for my wallpaper on my iPhone.

I hide my chocolate stash in my Sheep Cookie Jar from Parry Sound. My kids gave up looking (and they never looked very hard anyway, if you angled the package right they didn't even know it was in there) and it was dark, healthy chocolate, but it doesn't seem to matter how much they complain about it, if they find it then they'll eat it.

And my coffee that day was a special treat! I used cinnamon flavoured whipped cream instead of half and half (5%) and then sprinkled it with a chocolate, sugar, cinnamon mix that President's Choice has available. This combination works well on French toast too.

The mug is from a local potter and now it's my morning cup for my coffee. Period.

So, yes, I've been knitting, but nothing really to show you. I apologize Transitknitter for not bringing more show and tell...maybe next week.

I've been busy making kids are having trouble with that statement...I went back to work at a Fertility Clinic and am having a wonderful time helping people make their dreams of parenthood come true. I am, however, feeling the effects of the busy fall season and think I need to lay low for a few days to make sure that these sniffles just fade away...

October is an emotional month for a lot of people; so everybody?

Share the love and remember that each day is a gift.