Category Archives: daily life

What’s new?

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Hi, crafty people! What’s new?

I have been knitting up a Baby Surprise Jacket this week. It’s an Elizabeth Zimmermann pattern, and if you have been a knitter for a while you will surely know that she is (was) one of the geniuses of the knitting world. I have five of her books. I’ve been using the book, The Opinionated Knitter, to  make it, but I think it might be in Knitting without Tears too.

The yarn is Stylecraft Special DK and I had every intention of making it the smallest size possible by using 4mm/US6 needles. However I pulled out my supplies at a coffee shop while waiting for a friend last week, and for some reason my brain led my hands to screw the US8 tips on to the interchangeable cables. So instead of a potential gauge close to 6st/in, my gauge is more like 5st/in, so rather than fitting a teeny baby this year it will be more likely to fit next year. Which is a bit of a shame as the colours match the kitty fabric in the sewn outfit I showed you last time. Hopefully the dress and sweater will be wearable together.

So of course now that it’s almost done (you may have noticed there are no buttons yet) I just have to cast on for another. (The poor poncho is languishing yet again – ah, the thought of all those ends to weave in!) I will definitely remember to use the US6 tips this time and have picked out denim blue, along with meadow green, raspberry and one of the other pinks that has lost its ball band. It will be more girly at least.

One thing about a new baby in the family – lots of motivation to create!

I have bought fabric for a skirt for myself too. I have a Burda pattern (#6666) for a tiered skirt and found a lovely turquoise-y blue mottled rayon at work to make it with. I wanted to start sewing today but thought I’d better wash the fabric first, so it’s having a very short wash in the machine right now. It looks like an easy pattern, just a bunch of rectangles with lots of gathering along each top edge, and as my favourite maxi tiered skirt that I’ve been wearing for the last five years has started to disintegrate I’m hoping that this will be my new favourite. If it works out, I might want to make more!

Netflix watching, now that (sniff) Outlander has been suitably binge-watched, is Suits, recommended by a friend. Light entertainment while I get my knitting and crocheting done.

Piano practice has taken a back seat (less motivation to practice when there are no more lessons for a few months – ahem) and now I am excited about my Duolingo German lessons. It’s free (duolingo.com) and a friend is doing it too, plus I have three Facebook friends who are native German speakers (one is a co-worker). My hope is that one day Tai Chi Man and I will get to return to Switzerland to visit his cousins and I will not be hopelessly lost. We both learned German at school (and passed the exams to graduate) but heck, that was over 30 years ago.

Hopefully you are enjoying a wonderful Easter weekend where you are (and perhaps some chocolate). Tschüss!

So relaxed!

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Day 4 of a block of five consecutive days off between shifts. I don’t know what I did to deserve that, but I’m loving it.

Today I did one of my favourite things, which was tidy up my craft room as I had dumped yarn all over the place. I also updated my stash pages on Ravelry. I have acquired extra skeins from a couple of friends who were clearing out either their own stuff or someone else’s. There were some knitted pieces, two of which I darned in the ends on and will donate to the SPCA and the other two I unravelled.

Tai Chi Man and I had a pleasant walk along the waterfront this afternoon. It was raining but we had our new Costco waterproof jackets on so we were comfortable. Treated ourselves to some good tea from our favourite tea shop (and a cookie – oops!).

Friday I took myself off to the ski hill for some snowboarding on my own. I’ve never done that before but the boys weren’t bothered so I went. The drive started out rainy and ended up snowy. The road between the highway and the resort is about 20km and the second part was very slushy and slippery. Bit of zigzagging and tire spinning going on, and when I parked in the parking lot I just knew that I was going to have trouble getting out again, winter tires notwithstanding.

I had a free lift pass so that was great, but I had to rent a board and boots as usual. I have my own helmet (that’s saved me from many a potential concussion)! I did a couple of runs – first one always feels like I’ve forgotten everything. Second one was better. Snow was quite soft and deep in places and caught the board a fair few times. Got to the top of the quad chair and was pushing my way to the spot to anchor my right foot back in when someone asked me if I’d lost a binding. Oh great, the ankle binding had come off as a screw had come out and got lost in the snow. Told the lift guy who radioed down. Not sure why it took so long, but had to wait over half an hour before a snowmobile appeared to take me down the hill. I did get to warm up inside the hut at the top of the chairlift and chat to lift guy for a while.

The snowmobile guy was a fellow Brit and very nice and I enjoyed my ride down the mountain back to the village centre. Never been on a skidoo before, but it’s a lot of fun. Asked the girl at the rental place if there was any chance of a refund as had lost 50 minutes of boarding time out of my limited afternoon session and was told yes, and I could still get my binding fixed and do more runs first if I wanted. Did a couple more runs and then got a FULL refund (would have been satisfied with half) so was very chuffed!

As anticipated, car was bogged down in snow in parking lot, tires were spinning and I was going nowhere. Nice young man appeared in front of my car and pushed a few times while I was attempting to reverse and got me out. Drive back to highway was again rather hairy – nearly sideswiped a van coming the other way as I went around a bend. A pretty eventful day that could have turned out badly but thankfully all I had were a few sore muscles the next day.

And finally after all that blabbing I can show you a bit of yarn…

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Sorry for the fuzzy nighttime shot – I was very limited in what I could do as the iPad is plugged into the laptop, syncing and backing up. I decided to carry on with this baby cardi and trust that I will have enough yarn. Cross fingers! One front done.

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This is a finished gift. I bought some handmade soaps at the indoor farmers and crafters market yesterday and decided to give one to a friend. The mesh bag is Tunisian crochet, the washcloth just a basic granny square. The yarn is Stylecraft Classique Cotton DK.

The poncho has been neglected but not forgotten, as I have the skeins of Stylecraft Special DK lined up in front of the coffee table so I know which order to use them in. Thank goodness we don’t have any small children or curious pets in this house.

And finally, I almost forgot, the caterpillar set (book, blanket, cocoon and hat) which I mailed off to the UK weeks ago has arrived safely and the new parents-to-be love it. Yay!

I hope your weekend was wonderful. Have a peaceful and productive week and I’ll talk to you again soon.

WIP: not a sweater

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The Stylecraft DK Coast Pack that was supposed to become a sweater is now going to be a poncho!

I have this poncho already that I knitted years ago…

It’s just a rectangle with one end sewn to the side of the other end, if you know what I mean. It’s quite a practical shape, actually, as in the car you can wear it with the V at the front which keeps your lap warm without bulk at the back, and when out walking you can wear it with the V at the back.

The project-that-was-going-to-be-a-sweater-but-I-wasn’t-happy-with-it sat in its bag for a week or three while I did other things and let my brain mull things over in the background. Whilst this looks like procrastination, it can be quite an effective way of making decisions!!

So, here’s the progress so far…

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That’s a pretty big square with a separate V stitch panel which is currently 12.5″ deep, to give you an idea of scale. Once my V stitch section gets to be about 35″ long, I’ll have to think about the next step which will be joining and bordering the whole thing. I am keeping the Peacock colour aside for that.

I’m feeling happier about this project now that a decision has been made, and I added about seven rows while watching Crafternoon Treats’ latest podcast this evening.

In other news, my piano lessons have been cancelled for the rest of the Spring. My teacher is going in for a hip replacement operation soon and won’t be back in action until after the summer months. The last tune she had us learning was Londonderry Air, which is quite tricky. I really will have to practice lots over the summer so that when we start again in the fall I haven’t forgotten everything!

Spring has finally Sprung here in British Columbia’s southern interior. The street sweeping trucks have been around the neighbourhood, vacuuming up the grit from the snowploughs/plows, the husband has pruned the apricot and cherry trees, signs of life can be seen from the bulbs in the garden, and we were down to our T shirts on Sunday afternoon in the sunshine. I still intend to hit the slopes again before the end of the ski season though.

 

FO: Maypole Hat

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Well, WordPress is trying to confuse me. They’ve done some sort of update or rehash of their site and now all the tools that were on the left are on the right. Sometimes  I feel like saying, “If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it!”

Anyhoo, here’s the hat that was a WIP last time I posted. The diameter is about 16 inches, which I think is probably a 6 month old baby size. I still have part of one skein left plus a second, so it would be nice to make something else to match. I just haven’t decided what yet. I did a Ravelry search and didn’t come up with anything, except for one possibility, and it’s a little sweater I’ve made before from a library book, so I have placed a hold on it again. It’s Nash’s sweater and I could make it with or without the sleeves.

As I said before, this is Euro Baby Maypole, 100% polyester, and just in the knitting of the hat it’s already gone a little fuzzy so I don’t know how durable it is. Pretty colours, though. The ribbing was done with 5mm needles, and the stockinette with 5.5mm.

This was our view this morning –

The neighbour was out clearing snow off her car. Mine lives under our carport, not that I had to drive anywhere today anyway.

Yup, it snowed all day yesterday while I was at work (and I had to brush three inches of snow off the car so that I could see to drive home) and it was snowing this morning when I got up too. It didn’t last, though – by dinnertime, the sun had melted off quite a bit of it.

I had one of those lovely days today when my kitchen diary was completely blank  – no work, no appointments, no outside commitments – so I had a very sedentary morning (sorry, Fitbit)! This afternoon, though, I made up for it, doing multiple loads of laundry, cleaning bathrooms, the kitchen, the front entryway, and cooking scalloped potatoes, nut roast and date squares for dinner. Now that I have work some days, I appreciate the days when I’m home and can make more of an effort in putting a decent meal together.

Tonight, Tai Chi Man fancied a change of scene so booked us a couple of tickets to go to the movies. We are going to see The Ballerina, an animated movie which I’m sure will be cute and funny. My husband isn’t one for loud and violent films.

I hope Spring is springing in your part of the world. No sign of it here yet but we are supposed to see double digits (Celsius) next week.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

FO: psychedelic hat, WIP: Maypole hat

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Hello everyone. How is it in your corner of the world? We are still entrenched in winter here. We had more fresh snow today. Everyone else is complaining that winter is going on too long but I’m happy as I want to go snowboarding a few more times before the end of the season.

This is the state of my car…

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I did take it through a carwash a month ago, but since then it’s worked hard. Last Saturday ds2 and I headed off to the nearest ski resort for some belated boarding time. If you look carefully, those are icicles hanging off the bottom of my car. The winter wheels are on, which aren’t as sexy as the summer ones with the nice hubcaps. I was certainly grateful for good tires on Saturday, as a very impatient person passed us on a bendy road and absolutely covered my windshield with slush. It only took a second to activate the brakes and wipers, but a moment later and I would have crashed into the back of Mr Impatient as he had to stop for the car in front to turn left. Too close for comfort!

I am currently pro-croche-nating (procrastinating with my crocheted sweater) which means there are subconscious doubts about it. So I made this super bulky hat for some quick Finished Object satisfaction (I may remove the pompom, it takes it too far over the top for my liking).

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Here’s the link to my Ravelry project page if you want more specs.

And there’s another hat in the works. A knitted one, if you can believe it. I was feeling the itch to knit something, and this Euro Baby Maypole yarn had been sitting in my stash since my UK holiday last summer. It’s 100% polyester, and an interesting texture – sort of unspun and with a thread twisted around it.

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The orange, white and blue feels nautical to me. I cast on a random amount of stitches – whatever the tail of the long tail cast on made – but making sure it was an even number so that the 1 x 1 rib worked out. The ribbing was done with US8 (5mm) needle tips on my Knitpicks interchangeables, and the stockinette is being knitted with US9 (5.5mm) tips. I’m getting a gauge of about 4 stitches to the inch, which for a bulky yarn is quite tight, but I like the texture.  I have no specific recipient in mind for this hat. I feel like it is more boy-ish than girl-ish. What do you think?

My Fitbit is telling me that I haven’t even hit 5000 steps today so I should get out for a walk as my target is 10,000 per day. So I’d better sign off here. Talk to you again soon.

 

 

 

 

FO: a mug hug and a mug rug

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The back of the sweater is coming along slowly – I started out with way too many stitches and had to restart a couple of times, and then I decided I didn’t like the plain ol’ dc, so I ended up with a V stitch. The back is now about 8″ long.

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I really hope this works out, because if I end up unravelling I’ll have lots of short yarn bits to deal with.

So anyway, I digressed this evening with a little gift for a co-worker. Someone I haven’t given anything to yet. I used the Stylecraft Classique Cotton and a 4mm hook to make this mug hug (cosy) and mug rug (coaster). The coaster is a basic African Flower motif which I have made before. So pretty! And the cosy was just made up as I went along, adding a thinner section through the handle for a button and buttonhole. The crocheted viola is from the book “100 Flowers to Knit and Crochet” by Lesley Stanfield. I’ve had the book for ages (thanks to a friend) and this is the first thing I’ve made out of it, I think.

It was a work day today – I exceeded my 10,000 step goal again – and I ended up staying home this evening even though there was a choice of two events I could have attended. Finishing work at 6 meant dinner around 7, by which time it was too late to think about going out again.

Enjoy the rest of your week!

 

 

WIP: Gypsy Flower Square sweater

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Good morning, peeps! It’s such a beautiful day here. We’ve had lots of sun and blue sky this week. A few clouds threatened yesterday and even dropped about ten tiny snowflakes on me when I was walking for an hour, but it didn’t amount to anything.

Now that we have the new windows and doors, the house is so much brighter. No UV film to block out the much-desired winter sun. The extra window in the kitchen door is my favourite thing of the whole job – what was a dark corner is now filled with light. What a difference!

I took another photo of me with the new haircut that came out better. I sent it to my mum, but I will also share it here. I love the hair, but my face is definitely suffering the effects of my 54 year old hormones. It is reddened, partly spotty and partly flaky. Gah!

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You may have seen the first part of the Gypsy Flower Square in my last post. I reached the end of the instructions for the square…

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I absolutely love the stitch pattern in the last two rounds, especially as they are in my favourite colour.

After that, I had to decide what to do to make it bigger. This is what I did…

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Some V stitches, some puff stitches. I’ve now used all the colours in the pack except for the petrol. I need to save that for the edges as I would hate to run out of it when doing the neckline, etc. Rather than make another square like this, I think I will probably do the back in stripes, as well as the sleeves. That way I can use up the colours more evenly.

Stylecraft Special DK held double and crocheted with a 6mm hook is so nice and squishy. Of course, one could use chunky yarn to start with, but the DK comes in 82 colours and the Aran and Chunky weights only in, what, 30?

Well, the square still isn’t big enough, so I will have to be creative and continue on until it’s at least 22 inches across. Gotta have some positive ease, especially in a bulky sweater. I really hope this will look great with jeans this spring!

I spent an intense couple of hours yesterday, starting to type up my thoughts relating to a new venture. Since I acquired my Plant-Based Nutrition Certificate, my plans are to set up a new website/blog helping people who want to transition to a healthier lifestyle. It will need to be written, rewritten, and tested (just like a crochet pattern!) before releasing it to the general public. I am excited about it!

Have an awesome day!