Friday, February 28, 2014

Friday's Shoebox

I've been meaning to write this post for a few Fridays.  Now is my chance.

This is my newest grand-daughter who has grown some since this was taken in December.  But here photo she is only a couple of weeks old.  One of the things that I do with babies is try to see the family faces in theirs.  What I really like about doing this is how they change and take on a resemblance to a whole different person. 

I would never in a million years have thought that Lexi bore any  similarity to this woman until I saw the photo of her in the Christmas photo.  It has haunted me and goaded me into looking up the photo that I was remembering.  I thought maybe I was imagining the way she seems to look like her paternal great-great-grandmother.  It could just be a trick of the expression or the angle of the camera lens.  But I don't want to think so.  It intrigues me and I wonder what other characteristics they might share.

Sunday, February 23, 2014

Saturday Stash

Er, just a little late, since it's Sunday now.

This is what it looks like here today.  A perfect knitting day. 

I just have a couple of finished pieces to share and they are all about Wendy.  First a scarf which I made from my Christmas gift...a skein of Western Sky yarn.  I used the Crest of the Wave pattern by Judy Jacobs.  There are several others with the same name and it's an easy pattern to use.  The repeats are easy to memorize but complex enough to kep your interest.  I love the many shades of green  against the bright teal and rich chocolate.  And so soft.

The second piece is actually for Wendy.  It's the Jeweled Cowl by Sachiko Uemura with superfine baby alpaca yarn and the 700+ teeny-tiny beads.  I have some left so don't be too surprised if you catch me using them up on another lace project.  I have my eye on a cowl for myself.  Only 57 beads for the next one, though. 

 And now, back to enjoying a day when you are happy to stay indoors.  This snow is really instant slush.  So full of water and heavy on the trees.  Having a snowfall this late is not very unusual here, but it is always a pretty quick event.  Should be mostly over by tomorrow. 

Saturday, January 25, 2014

Saturday Stash

Back again.  That was a very quick week!

I thought I'd share one of my particular talents.  I call it horizontal storage - others call it clutter.  But it's really based on the old saying: "Out of sight; out of mind."  I have any number of baskets, lovely hand-knitted project bags in which to store current projects.  But I find that if I put a project away it stays away because I do forget about the ones in the cupboard.  Maybe it's just convenient to forget because I want to get at the next new project made with the latest yummy yarn addition. 

So, if I really want to finish something, I not only can't put it away but I also have to work on all at the same time.  So, a little lace and bead knitting, some socks and a heavy Fair Isle pullover adorn the back of the couch.  With all their attached yarns it looks like a knitting factory to me.  There are also a couple of gratuitous skeins which I want to get at.  Since you've seen most of what is there already, I will just say that they are works in progress. 

A finished piece gets worn as soon as it's ready for the off.  These, my Dublin Bay socks, are so nice.  As comfy as they are beautiful.  Love them.

And, when one pair of socks is off the needles, there is always another to take its place.  This is one of my pre-Christmas yarns - made by the same yarn-maker as the pair above.   I just fell in love with the pastel rainbow of colors.  They are wonderfully swirly and unpredictable when knit up.  As I knit, there are so many different images.  I see a jar filled with layers of colored sand.  A Monet garden of summer flowers. Some times, it's the rainbow sheen on a roadside puddle.  But mostly, they are happy colors which go a long way to banishing winter blahs. These are a gift, though,  so I won't be wearing them.

That's it for today's report.  Back next Saturday. 

Saturday, January 18, 2014

Saturday Stash

The weather is beautiful today.  Almost like spring. Well, maybe a little colder but still pretty mild for January.  The fog has lifted and the sun is shining.  The snowdrops are a welcome sight in the garden.  In fact, they make me ant to get out and start doing something meaningful.  But, I don't want to take the blanket off just yet.  January is a funny month and the plants could catch a chill.  So, I'll just stay in and knit.  OK?

I'm still rolling around the beaded the cowl.   You would think on such big needles that the knitting would go quickly but for some reason it doesn't.  After all, there are only 14 beads to put in every other row.  How much could that slow me down?  Lots, apparently.  While putting the beads in is really easy, it will never be one of my favorite additions to knits. Must get it done before the snow melts in Alberta. 

But, neither is Fair isle and here I am doing it again.  So, never say never.  It has taken what seems like forever to get to this point, though.   I bought this yarn over 2 years ago when we were in the South West being awed by canyons.  The sweater is for Anne and she has been waiting patiently while I search for the perfect pattern.  The barriers are many. The first one took more yarn than I had.  This pattern would be a squeaker but I thought I could manage.  As I was getting the yarn out again to wind more for the sleeves, I discovered that there was one gray skein which was actually three in one!  Why I didn't see that before I don't know but it made a huge difference to how I approached the Fair Isle part.  That takes a lot of extra yarn and now I'm not having to be inventive. While there is still the stranded knitting to get through, I can play with the sleeves for a while before I need to get down to colors. 

I had hoped to have the Dublin Bay socks finished but I got stalled at the heel on the second one.  Because...

I was distracted by a friend's new granddaughter and her search for a pink and purple hat.  I thought I could whip up a couple in one night.  Not quite that quick in real life.  Here is one with a tiny piggy tail on top and knit up with the two sock yarns that baby is holding. 

This is number two and I like it a lot more.  The tassel/topknot is more fun and it is slightly bigger.  Also using two varied yarns makes the mix less like stripes.  It's fun mixing the sock yarns just to see what each combination looks like.

And, now, I'm off to set up my quilting frame.  I have an almost-finished quilt for my grandson that I have promised myself will be finished this month.  Onward and upward.

Saturday, January 11, 2014

Saturday Stash

Here I am promised.  Making it two weeks into January and I feel as though this blog could work again.  Today , I have two of each: finished projects and on-the-needles.

Before Christmas, I finished a few pairs of slippers in this pattern.  My niece started me on a slipper pattern hunt.  Then my friend, Helen, provided the best pattern ever which I even had in my queue but hadn't gotten round to knitting up.  And, I'm told these are the most comfortable slippers, too. Very easy; use up smaller stashes; and quick to knit.  How great is all that?  So, this is one pair that didn't make it to the donation shelves and stayed at home.

 I also just finished another Sockhead Hat.  So much fun to make and even better when I can use up two different sock left-overs.  This is a purple/gray mix and another with sunset colors.  I like how it turned out. 

I am slowly working my way around Wendy's pretty jeweled cowl.  I can only work on it in the daytime.  Partly for the good light since the beads and the yarn are dark as are our days right now.  But mostly because I'm afraid to spill the beads if I start working on it while watching TV.  They are in what I hope is a hard to tip container but I have visions of them going everywhere.  The yarn looks thin - and it is - but when it gets a good soak there should be a nice bloom  to fill in the gaps. Not a great photo but this is a particularly dark afternoon.

And, because I need some less mindful knitting: Dublin Bay socks.  I love the way this is turning out.  I bought the yarn with discount coupons last fall and that makes it practically stash, right?  I fell for the ragg-type yarn and the gray color.  When it came time to choose a pattern it seemed perfect to use something that speaks of a northern sea.   The lace down the leg is so simple, so elegant and reminds me of Celtic stone-carving.  The eye-of-partridge heel adds to the stone-work textures.  Can't wait to finish them. 

Friday, January 10, 2014

Friday's Shoebox

As you see, I have changed the title of these posts which used to be Fifty Fridays.  I think the numbers were intimidating in a way and it made me feel guilty if I missed a week - or month - of posting.  So, here we have a new title for a new year and a slightly different project. 

Last week, I dug out the box of photos due to technical difficulties.  Like many solutions to challenges, the result was a happy one for me.  I discovered a whole box full of pictures that didn't make it through the scanner.  Some are more recent but most are not.  So, my plan is to dig through this pile and just take a snap of a snap. I think this reflects how I feel when I look at them.  The memories are hazy and need a lot of prodding to get them into some kind of sharpness. 

Last week, I enjoyed the expressions on the faces in the various photos and I have found some more with priceless expressions.  Starting with the old...

This is me sometime before my first birthday.  It's pretty clearly summer and I'm sure those flowers in the long grass were pretty.  I am being held by my Aunt Myrtle who was actually my Mom's aunt.  But how I am studying her so intently.  Have I never seen glasses before?  Is she squeezing me too tight?  I don't know exactly where the photo was taken but I am assuming Pugwash, NS just because that's where she lived. 

And skipping forward to another little one: my younger son when he was very new.  That's his Grampa (my Dad) holding him.  He looks pleased but awkward at the same time.  You'd never know he'd held a baby before, would you?  His big brother and cousin are giving him the once-over and are clearly interested.  But he's not really much of a playmate yet.  I'm sure they were somewhat disappointed in his inability to get up and run with them.  

Decorating note:  don't hate me for the awful brown stripes behind.  Yikes!  It's a testament to my mother's love of what she called 'earth colors'. 

Come back next week....there's lots more in that box.

Saturday, January 4, 2014

Saturday Stash

Me and my stash - again!  It has been growing, darn it, not reducing.  I shall have to put myself n a yarn diet for another year.  Ha, ha.  That actually sounds as though I will be consuming yarn rather than not buying, doesn't it?  Honestly?  I'll probably be doing a bit of both.  But for now, I thought I'd share a few of the projects completed last fall.  Of course, there are always a couple on the needles, too.

First up is a second pullover dress for little sister in that pale blue yarn.  What you can't see is that she immediately shed her clothes to try it on and pose for the camera.  I like this easy.   I like how it turned out  and did use up a fair bit of yarn.  There is still some blue left, though!

A scarf in Poems sock yarn that I bought in Spokane.  Love the mix of green and blue. Pattern is by Kate Poe and, again, fairly easy.

Mitts for wearing even if you're hands are not cold. These were made for my Lego-maniac grandson.  Just a bit of fun.  Thanks for the perfect Lego yellow yarn, Deb.  Pattern is here.

For my birthday, I received The Great Oddments Knitdown...yup, thanks to Deb again.    I had the perfect yarn in my stash for the Fairy Snowcap...and the perfect grand-daughter to wear it. 

More stash-busting in the Sockhead Hat.  I used leftovers from three sock yarn projects and knit this up for grand-son.  It is really, really slouchy but could be rolled up a lot for more of a toque. 

And, right now, I have a new project, Jeweled Cowl, just waiting to jump on the needles.  I have the skein wound into a ball.  I have the beads.  I have the circs and the .75 crochet hook.  Now I just have to cast on 200 stitches and get going. The flag has dropped, Wendy.

There's more but it'll have to wait until next week.  I'm still catching up with blogger.

Friday, January 3, 2014

Fifty Fridays #43? or #1?

It is Friday and I am reviving my commitment to post old photos from the virtual shoebox.  When I mentioned to my older son that I would be reviving these posts his eyes lit up.

"Another year's worth?"  he asked. 
"Well, more like finishing off the fifty, so maybe only another 8 photos to go." I said.
"Oh." he said.

Sensing disappointment, I am going to go out on a limb and try to get all of 2014's Fridays filled in.  And so I set to work choosing a photo for today.  I fell at the first hurdle with the online storage site unavailable this morning.  Reneging on a promise this early in the year would not be a good omen, I think.  The real shoebox came out and I just made photos of photos - the fuzzy quality adds to the nostalgia.  Here are three that I really liked and had completely forgotten.  

Me...sometime in 1969.  It is either just before or just after I got married.  I remember the hat and the dress which I made myself.  Somewhere, lying on a chair, will be a royal blue wool cape with purple satin lining that I also made. The hat is a gorgeous white felt affair that I absolutely had to have.  We still wore hats then.  Those were the days!

These are the three sisters: me on the right; my younger sister Roz on the left; and youngest, Mary, in the middle.  This photo was taken at a family gathering for my Mom's 60th birthday.  We are at my brother's house which is newly built and yet to be landscaped.  Not sure whose gifts we are inspecting.  I am holding a quilt that I made as a housewarming gift.  Don't we all look happy?  And so young!

And, this one, I just love.  Remember the 'children's table'?  When I was a kid, every big family dinner had one.  Adults sat at the formal dining table and the kids at a smaller table.  Sometimes, it was a card table placed in the dining room.  Or, like this event, it was at the kitchen table.  These are all the cousins - minus the two older ones who got to sit at the big table.  Taken in 1990, this would have been a Christmas dinner with the whole family.  I love the expressions on the kids' faces and their various eating styles.  Talk about a candid shot!

I'm diving back into that box of photos now.


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