Sunday, June 29, 2008

Busy Relaxing

I'm on vacation, and boy am I tired! It's hard work relaxing at home. There's a lot of knitting to do, extra long dog walks to enjoy, ravenous boys to feed and even the Corriveau Family Reunion picnic on Saturday. Worst of all, I've discovered an addictive strategy game called Gem Craft. Click the link at your own peril.

I have all of next week off too. Who knows, you may see an extra blog post or two. On the other hand, I also have plans to go to the beach, the movies, more knitting, two dog obedience classes....

Ah heck! Lets skip along to the knitting. I finished the Trellis scarf.

It's long and wide and so soft and light. Hanging from my neck it falls below my waist. There's room to maneuver with this scarf. I bathed it twice because the water was dingy after the first wash. Then I lightly blocked it by smoothing it out over the bed. I didn't feel that a severe blocking was called for since I'd knit it so loosely. (Good advice Kat!)

I've got more knit-news to share, but it can wait for later. After all, I'm on vacation!

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

He Did It!!!

Congratulations to our Grade Eight Grad: Luke Barnard!

It's been a tough row to hoe. We had our dark valley in the middle school years. But with a concerted effort, and with the help of many caring teachers and resource people, Luke worked hard to turn things around. He's come a long way and we are very proud of our boy.

I had no idea that I would be this touched.

Luke didn't win any awards. He wasn't on any teams, didn't participate in school activities. He didn't make the honour roll. But by golly, he's happy, he has friends, and he knows who he is. His Dad and I will be behind him on what ever path he chooses to take into his future.

Saturday, June 21, 2008


Yesterday Jim and I celebrated our 16th wedding anniversary! Jim had forgotten that morning, but redeemed himself with reservations at a very nice restaurant that evening. Right now, he and Luke are out getting their hair cut because this Tuesday, Luke graduates from grade eight. Luke is not looking forward to this because he has to dress up and he thinks he'll feel out of place. Poor dear. We're just trying to ease him through it with the least possible angst.

I had a very relaxing morning today. I finished up a mitten.

Pattern: Annemor #4
Yarn: Dale Falk
Needles: 3.25mm

This was quite a quick knit at this gauge! I'm so used to fingering weight yarn on 2.25mm needles. The original was to fit a girl's medium. I was hoping for something bigger, but while this fit's my boy's hands quite well, it is too snug for me to wear. And here's the back.

When I downloaded these pictures from my camera, I found bonus pictures that I hadn't taken. Here's the best of the bunch.

Pig in a pigloo

Thursday, June 19, 2008

The State of the Knitting

Lots on the needles here and out of it all I've got four active projects going. The ubiquitous traveling sock of course, a pair of stranded mittens, a scarf, and a sweater.

The mitten is for working on when I can't sleep. Every now and then I get up in the middle of the night and can't get back to sleep. I toss and turn. Rather than wake Jim up with my restlessness, I go to the spare room and knit. Usually less than an hour will get me in shape for going back to sleep. The mitten is really cute, but I'll save the pictures for when its done.

The scarf was born out of an irresistible urge to try out that Wild Geese Fibers that I got in exchange for my leftovers.

This is the Trellis Scarf Pattern, from Interweave Knits. Since my yarn is fingering weight, I'm doing it on a larger needle. I'm thinking it may be more stole-sized when blocked. The loveliest thing about this pattern is the point of the diamonds. They look like swirly knots. (You can sort of see it if you click the picture for a bigger view.) The maneuver where you create 5 stitches by knitting into 7 is a little tricksy, but not so bad. My trick is to knit it on the point of the needle.

The softness of the alpaca is a nice treat when I need a break from the sweater I started for Jim just before Father's Day. The yarn is acrylic/viscose blend and starts to feel like rope in my hands after a while.

This is the Aberlady Sweater from Alice Starmore's Celtic Knits. I think I'll call it Aberlord though since this is for Jim and will be more of an interpretation. I'm using a heavier weight yarn than the fingering weight called for. But since this is a gansey style sweater, I don't expect too much trouble switching it around. I swatched, measured and calculated to get the correct number of stitches to cast on. The pattern has arm gussets, which I plan to fudge, and I want to change the neckline. But at least the sleeves are knit down from the arms, so I can just pick up a reasonable amount and figure it out as I go.

Damn, that all sounds so nebulous! Does it help to say I'm confident? I guess because I've designed a gansey on the needles before, it doesn't seem so intimidating. Still, I'm going to stick this thing on a longer needle and slip it onto Jim to see if my initial calculation was correct before going any further.

I'm in a lovely state of anticipation for all these projects, because one week from today I will be on vacation. We don't have much of anything planned, there's a family picnic and the company picnic. Actually, I do have plans. I plan to relax!

Monday, June 16, 2008

Dad's Glory Days

Dad's socks were done in time for Father's Day, but I couldn't give them to my Dad. Unfortunately, we had colds in our house and my parents would just as soon not catch one. I called Dad up though and we had a nice chat on the phone for over an hour.

Last time we visited Dad gave me some old photographs of himself. (Click for bigger.)

Wasn't he cool? The writing in the dust on the bottom of the car reads "Luella loves Chester." That young couple would be my future godparents. It tickles me to see evidence that my oh so proper aunt was once young and giddy in love.

Here's Dad on his motorbike:

There are two things that I notice in this picture. First, my fashionable pop has a chain attached to his wallet. Second, there are two young ladies discretely watching from the window.

I'm really glad to put these photos of my Dad on the internet. It's nice to have one's glory days remembered...

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

Can't Stop to Blog....

Too busy knitting to a deadline.

Father's Day Socks
Vintage Patton's Pattern
Scheepjees Yarn

I'm fond of grey. Many of you told me that you don't care for it much. That's okay, more for me! Grey goes with anything, it shows patterning well, and it reminds me of soft, lovely things, like doves, sheep, water-smoothed pebbles and fluffly clouds. Just this week, I traded some of my leftover Rowan to Raveler RuthD for this:

Lucky me! I think it's gorgeous. It's Wild Geese alpaca(90%)/merino(10%) on the left and Ruth's own handspun on the right.

Big thanks goes to Frieda Pelletier for donating to the Heart and Stroke Foundation and the Big Bike Ride.

Okay, back to the Dad socks. They've gotta be ready for Sunday....

Thursday, June 05, 2008

Letting Go

Hooray it's Thursday! Thursday is a good day of the week. Thursday is the Saturday of the work week. You get Saturday-Sunday then the weekend is done, but we also get Thursday-Friday and the work week is done! So in a way, Thursday is even better than Saturday. I put this theory to a co-worker, who asked me if I couldn't do something about Tuesday. Nope, Tuesday is beyond hope, I told him.

Luke and his friend seemed to have mended their fences, on the playground at least. We haven't seen the friend over this week. I'm not getting any further involved unless Luke asks me too.

I'm very proud of our little family. In spite of our difficulties, we have somehow managed to establish a relationship that includes negotiations. There were two incidents just this week. The boys were supposed to be doing chores, and Luke didn't want to sweep because he'd just done it yesterday. I suggested he vacuum instead and he readily agreed. The other incident was that he wanted to take a shower right away and I wanted him to do his chores first. But he calmly explained his reasons to me and so I agreed. And he did the chores later. I am hoping this bodes well for the upcoming teenage years.

After writing this, I see that a big part of it is me willing to let Luke decide how to do things for himself. I've given up some of my control in exchange for his willingness and pleasant attitude. A fair bargain in my eyes.

And this is where the knitting ties in. In my latest project, the marvelous mittens, Pattern 22 from Charlene Schurch's book, I didn't try to match up the grey self-striping yarn.

I didn't match up the stripes, nor the direction of the color gradients. I'll confess, one cuff is even longer than the other. That was sheer accident. And I like it.

I've sometimes been told that my knitting looks like it was done by a machine. A compliment to be sure, but not the effect I'm after. By not matching the colors, I hope I've increased the likely hood that someone will notice that these mittens were worked by hand. And part of this bargain of giving up on matching, is the mesmerizing way the colors lead the eye around. Letting go is really working for me these days....

By the way, I will be participating in the Heart and Stroke's Big Bike Ride. If you'd like to sponsor me there is a link in the side bar that will take you to my personal donation page. I'm not going to offer a prize or anything. I just think that if you want to, and can, then I will greatly appreciate your donation. Big thanks!

Sunday, June 01, 2008

Emotional Drama

It's Sunday night and I'm just getting at the computer for the first time this weekend. The weather has been rainy and then sunny. It's lovely weather for the plants. Everything is lush and green with plenty of colorful flowers. Beautiful for walks.

Friday night I came home to a small crisis. Jim was very upset on behalf of Luke who had been insulted by a friend. I don't want to go into details here, but it felt like a slap in the face to our whole family from a boy who is over at our house 3-4 times a week and has dinner with us almost once a week.

Jim felt he couldn't talk to the parents of the boy, so the job fell to me, but I was okay with that. This set of circumstances felt like a teaching moment to me. We had a chance to show Luke that he deserves to be treated with respect, and to demonstrate that with our actions. So the boy's mom is talking to him and we're hoping this will all just blow over. Eventually.

Saturday night, we took my parents out for dinner and had a lovely time. They are not spontaneous people, so it was a special treat to get them to come out on short notice. I was very happy they agreed.

I did manage to finish up my traveling pair of socks. (For the record, I always have a sock in my purse. Now that these are done, I've cast on another pair. It may take a while before you see them here though. Traveling socks get finished slowly/) I've been wearing these anklets all day and I'm in love.

Yarn: Regia Silk
Needles: 2.25mm
Using the leftovers from the Chalet socks for the toes gave me just the right amount to eek out these little socks. The Regia Silk feels lovely on my feet and I'm thrilled with the little anklet. The yarn was bought as an odd ball at a sale.

And of course the mitten proceeds. One down, one to go.

I feel extremely daring. I'm knitting this one with the stripes going in the other direction. What a rebel I am.