July 2007


Thanks everyone, for indulging me in a rather personal post last time. I don’t usually do that, but it turned out that it was very cathartic for me. My family seemed to enjoy the tribute too, so that pleases me. I appreciate your comments tremendously! I don’t know if I will find the time to reply to everyone. So much is going on here that I don’t even have time to read my favourite blogs! I’ll just say here….thank you….sincerely.

On to knitting. I’ve been knitting with the Hempathy yarn. Oh, how I love it! I will definitely be using it again. I love the drape of it, the feel of it, and the look of it. However, the stitches are slippery little suckers, and I’ve lost more than a few! I’m using the Knit Picks needles, which arrived a while ago in the mail. I might be better off using bamboo needles, but I’ll continue using these. I haven’t had to rip back at all, but I’ve heard from Zarah that it’s a big pain in the neck. The two strands come apart and cause a big mess. I’ll just hope that doesn’t happen!

 

Hempathy Sweater

 

This is going to (hopefully) be a sweater for myself. I’ll let you know what pattern it is, as soon as I figure out if it’s going to work out or not. One yarn store owner told me that it was ridiculous to try this pattern with the Hempathy yarn. eek! So, I purchased the yarn somewhere else. Ha! I’m trying the pattern anyway. If it doesn’t work, it doesn’t work.

This is the swatch I did:

 

Hempathy Swatch

 

There it is, blocked and looking marvelous. However, it lied. It lied big time. I used the same sized needles for the swatch, but a different brand. I don’t know if that could have made the difference or not. Anyway, I’m making adjustments to the sweater as I go. I don’t know what else to do about it. Hope I guess.

I’m trying to see if I can get away to see the Yarn Harlot in Halifax. It would be nice to hear her speak, and to meet other like-minded knitters. Also, whew, I sure could use a holiday, even if it is only for one day and night! My husband just had a chemo treatment yesterday, and I have to be sure that he’s okay, AND that he’ll be able to take care of the children while I’m gone. That’s a tall order.

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I‘ve been spending a lot of time reminiscing. It has been a difficult time for me. My family has had to say goodbye to my late grandmother’s summer home, habitually known as “The Farm”. It’s not really a farm, but it has been a rustic family retreat, and the central location for family gatherings, for longer than I’ve been on this earth.

 

Farewell to the Farm

 

Farewell to the Farm

 

It was purchased in the 1950s by my grandfather, without consulting my grandmother. He purchased it, and the surrounding 85 acres, as a duck hunting lodge. I don’t think any ducks were hunted there. As soon as my Gran laid eyes on the place, tears started to stream down her face. She. LOVED. it! Before my grandfather knew it, Gran was hanging red and white checked curtains and was sprucing up the place for summer habitation.

 

The Farm

 

Farewell to the Farm

 

At that time, there was no second story on the house, and no room to sleep a family of six. They ended up spending so much time there as a family though, that it was necessary to build a second floor. The Farm has been the location for birthdays and Thanksgivings, activities such as swimming, sailing, canoeing, kayaking, snowmobiling, horseshoeing, hiking on “the trail”, tree house building (Oh, the treehouses!!!), but no duck hunting 🙂 .

 

Farewell to the Farm   Farewell to the Farm

 

Farewell to the Farm   Farewell to the Farm

 

Farewell to the Farm   Farewell to the Farm

 

Farewell to the Farm   Farewell to the Farm

 

My grandfather passed away in the 1960s, but Gran spent 8 months out of the year at the Farm ever since. All winter she would count the days until she could return to her beloved Farm. Gran, who was ALWAYS known as Tiny, so “Tiny Gran” to me, passed away six years ago. The family has been at a crossroads as to what to do about the Farm. It has been a letting go process really. Something had to be done though, because the place needed some habitation and TLC. Gran would NOT want the Farm to just fall to ruin! Unfortunately, either family members already had summer cottages, or lived too far away, or just couldn’t afford the upkeep that the Farm required. So, the Farm has been sold, and I am miserable. Such are the nature of family squabbles and petty jealousies too, that all of the furnishings you see in the photos above were given to the new owners. If one person couldn’t have it….no one could have it. *sigh* The canopy bed shown above has been in the family for generations. That’s an old Singer sewing machine in one of the bottom pictures.

So, the new owner, who lives out west, bought the Farm and a small portion of the property (he may buy the whole 85 acres), and had the intention of tearing down the Farm! Gah! Fortunately, he changed his mind when he saw it in person. Hearing his restoration plans has heartened me considerably. Tiny Gran would be so pleased! What this past week has taught me is that the Farm was NOT the centre of our family gatherings; it was Tiny Gran.

 

Gran Young Woman

 

Gran at Wedding

 

Okay, in my last post I mentioned that if you visited my sister’s blog, you might want to turn down your computer speakers a smidge. This was not to indicate that I have a problem with the “rock and roll music listenings”, as she put it in the comments. Rather, it’s the initial “Yeowl” at the beginning that knocks me off my feet sometimes. Also, to my dear sister, that’s because I’ve had the speakers on loudly to begin with. I rather like the music selections. The girl is trying to make me sound ancient! Okay, so I’m still fond of OMD, New Order, The Smiths, U2……..but I’m not stuck there, and why can’t a girl listen to a bit of Simon and Garfunkel, or Eagles, every now and then just to reflect? 🙂 I most certainly do own more current music. Hee, hee, don’t we sound like sisters?

 

Rainy Day

 

Rainy Day

 

It has been a grey, rainy day here, but I tried my best for Eye Candy Friday. We really did need the rain anyway.

 

Hostas

 

Lavender

 

Have you ever smelled lavender in the rain? Mmmmmmm. Where’s that Simon and Garfunkel CD anyway?

Well it has happened. I’ve officially been spending way too much time on Ravelry. I haven’t even been exploring it for my own projects, or organizing my knitterly thoughts and materials. No, I’ve been trying to help out. Everyone…Casey, Jess, Thomasina (I don’t know where they’d be without Thomasina!)….everyone has been working so hard. I really can see why it’s still in Beta mode. There have been so many changes even in the short time that I’ve been in there. There’s so much left to do….and so many unedited patterns and yarns! Every time more invitations go out, the number of patterns and yarns increases. It’s hard to keep a handle on it. I love it though. It’s a time sucker upper for now, but it will be a great resource in the future. If you’re not in Ravelry, but you’re curious about it, take a look at Katherine’s post on the topic on her blog.

Now Ravelry has “Groups“. Have mercy. I promised myself that I would not get sucked into any groups! No groups. No groups. Well I’m now a moderator for a group called “Canadian Yarn Shopping”. *hanging my head* I’m still trying to keep the groups to a minimum. To be honest though, sometimes it looks like I’m logged into Ravelry, when actually I’m off changing a diaper, getting lunch, wiping runny noses, filling a wading pool, mowing the lawn…… I forget to log off 😉

Anyway, whether you’re in Ravelry or not, if you love knitting you may want to read this: TechCrunch. This is what the techies are saying about Ravelry. They can’t believe that so many (17,000) people have been waiting to get in! They can’t believe that so many “grandmotherly types”, who “knit doilies”, can even log onto the internet!! Oh my. Well, the knitters struck back. There were 74 comments at my last count. I would say that those particular techies are feeling a bit sheepish right now. 😉

Look at this!

Yarn Kitty

 

Is that not a hilarious picture? That’s a picture of Prussia, my sister’s Ragdoll kitty. My sister has taken some wonderful photos, has made them into note cards, and has been selling them in a knitting shop in Toronto. (They’re not sold with the big “C” on the front.) I suggested that she open an Etsy shop too, so she did! Here it is Moiface-Dangerart. I just noticed that she added some felted ipod covers too. Now, where did the name Moiface-Dangerart come from? Good question. Moiface, because her name is Moira. I don’t understand Dangerart, because she’s my angelic baby sister. Have things changed since you moved to the big city Moira? Hmmmm. I think a visit from big sis may be in order. While we are very different from one another (she’s 15 years younger….*hanging my head again*), we do have quite a few things in common. Blogging, knitting and photography are our shared addictions, obsessions, passtimes. If you do happen to visit her blog, turn down your speakers a bit first, or you may be in for a bit of a surprise. Sometimes I’m nearly blown off my chair.

It has been a while since my last post hasn’t it? Wow. I hope I’ll actually get this one completed this evening. I mentioned that we have had guests. My mother-in-law and sister-in-law drove here from Ontario. It was great to have them here, and they have spoiled the kids rotten. We had a celebration for my daughter’s fifth birthday. I had been planning to have a party with all of her friends. However, when our visitors came, we decided to have a spur of the moment family party. This was on Canada Day…with no grocery stores open….and no cake. I made a hasty visit to the 24 hour Shoppers Drug Mart for cake mixes. Thank goodness I had seen this blog post by Anny Purls! She recently made a fabulous caterpillar cake that was right up my daughter’s ally. Anny probably didn’t use cake mixes, but I was desperate and in a hurry. This was the result:

 

Caterpillar Cake

 

I did make the seven minute icing myself. It’s smeared all over the tray too. So, I’m not Martha Stewart. Oh, well. I made the cakes using different sizes of Pyrex measuring cups as moulds. I did five moulds for five years. (Also, I did five because that’s how much cake mix I had.) I put M & Ms all over, and added licorice for legs and antennae. Thank goodness Shopper’s Drug Mart carries those things! My daughter couldn’t have been happier with the whole deal.

Guess what else happened? Our visitors brought their knitting!! Yay! I had knitting company. My sis-in-law had just learned to knit, and was practicing. See?

 

SIL - First time knitter!

 

There were a few holes along the way, but there was definite improvement during her stay with us. She did much more than what is shown in this picture. She even did some purl rows. By now, her practice swatch is as large as the back portion of a sweater! She could totally do it.

This is my mother-in-law’s knitting:

 

MIL - Knitting Oven Mitts

 

Here she was knitting oven mitts. During her stay with us, she completed 4 sets of oven mitts and a pair of felted clogs!! Cool. I should’ve taken pictures of the finished items, but I didn’t think of it. I’m trying to convince her to sell her oven mitts on Etsy. They are two layers thick, and work really well. No burned hands.

I was knitting these:

 

Animal Blanket - Work in Progress

 

My yarn arrived from Elann.com. So, I started on the squares for the baby “Animal Blanket”. I still have to block, or steam, the animal squares, and weave the ends in. I may have to rethink the colour arrangement too. I’m not sure about the ecru lion.

The Hempathy sweater is on hold until I can get some needles. Can you believe that no one here carries 3.5 mm needles? The LYS didn’t have any, and the two WalMarts here had every size but 3.5 mm. I resorted to Zellers too, but no luck. I’m so tired of this happening, that I ordered a whole set from Knit Picks. They haven’t come yet. I like to support my LYS, but it’s just so tiny…. They have Addis, but not a large enough selection.

Another reason for my lack of posts lately is that my husband had a setback in his chemotherapy treatments. His white cell count went dangerously low after chemo (with fever etc), and he had to be taken to emerge and was put into “isolation” for the weekend. Things had been going so well up to this point. My mother-in-law and sister-in-law extended their stay, to help us all out. Now, my husband is recovering at home. He’s feeling much better, and we’ll just hope that things can go smoothly from here on.