Category Archives: daily life

Halfway there


One week with this splint and dressing…

One week to go. Thankfully I have only needed one pain pill on each of the last couple of days. It’s more uncomfortable than anything, especially when my arm swells up.

The weather went from snow on Monday to beautiful sunshine on Tuesday, and today we are having diffuse sun. I have enjoyed a neighbourhood walk the last two days which adds a bit of variety, exercise and fresh air. All my menfolk have been out working every day  this week so I’ve had a few days of alone time. This is fine as long as I can feed myself one-handed! Whilst I can do a little tidying and laundry, I can’t do vacuuming or complicated meal prep. 

Lunch today was a turmeric miso noodle soup, the recipe for which turned up in my email inbox from The Garden Grazer. 

I sat outside for a bit while the house aired. Took my giant cup of tea and kitchen stool out on the deck.

The calendar and temperature may say Spring but there’s still a lot of snow around. The clocks go forward this weekend.

Well, it’s back to my photo files. I’ve made good progress on the DVDs that we had backed up (although we did lose some photos thanks to lack of self-discipline) and I have made a mental promise to myself to treat myself to something nice when the job is done! Dangling that carrot…

Checking in


Hi everyone. As expected, I don’t have any projects to show you because of my cast, but someone gave me a box of yarn last week!

I weeded out a couple of things and this is what I decided to keep.

There’s some vintage stuff in there, that’s for sure.

It’s a beautiful day today. The sun is shining on the snow and I was able to open the windows on the south side of the house for a couple of hours. I even went for a walk. It was icy in places, slushy in others, and I was careful to pay attention to my footing.

The weekend was fun, as it included a meal out, a concert, a market and a movie. Not all on the same day.

Have a great week!

Cast-ocalypse Week Two


Aren’t these just the most awesome fabrics?! I had a friend drive me to the fabric store where I work today so I could say Hello to my co-workers and get a sewing pattern and this quilting cotton was on sale. I had had my eye on it for a while. I snapped up a metre of each in case they sell out before I get back to work. 

I attempted a bit more knitting and crochet yesterday but it was a pain, literally – I had to give up after a few minutes. 

I have adapted to the one-handed life now, and the family is learning what I can and cannot do. They are having to help with cans, jars, chopping, hand washing dishes, vacuuming, etc. I’m getting more comfortable with writing with my left hand.  

Over the last week I’ve read two ebooks and most of a regular one, and watched a season of Imposters on Netflix.

Today the big task that I’ve been procrastinating over for years was finally started. I pulled out the flash drive of backed up digital photos from the fire safe and started to upload them, rename them and sort them into folders for eventual creation of Photobooks. If I can get this job done while I’m off work, I will consider my time well spent.

Hopefully you are all well and happily crafting away. Talk to you again soon.

The best laid plans…


…of knitters and crocheters can often be derailed in the blink of an eye.

This will be a short post as typing is slow, but this was my Facebook status yesterday:

Had a bad crash on the hill today. Another snowboarder came out of nowhere and I went head over heels. Arm hurt like hell. Tried to carry on, but thankfully came across a Ski Patrol guy a little further down the mountain. He did a temporary splint and I was strapped into an emergency sled and he pulled me to the medical clinic.
A quick ultrasound confirmed a break. Splinted again, and R rounded up the boys. L had to drive my car as we’d taken both R’s and mine.
Thankfully not too long a wait at KGH for Xray and cast.
Six weeks of doing everything one-handed! Can’t write, drive, knit, crochet (waaaah) or get the cast wet.

Well, that’s put the proverbial spanner in the works! I’ve had to withdraw from the Ravellenic Games and the sweater goal will be delayed.

Of course it was my dominant hand!



Tai Chi Man went home and brought me my Hello Kitty pyjama top to wear as it has wide sleeves. I did request a Hello Kitty cast but had to settle for plain pink.

Had an unsettled night and now relearning how to do even the most mundane tasks.

WIP: The Paper Bag Princess (a Ravellenic Games project)


Hi all

First I should say Thank You for all the Like clicks on my blog recently. It’s good to know that there are people out there reading my ramblings and even enjoying them!

The stripey vest aka March sweater has progressed since my last post, but I don’t have up to date photos, so will dedicate this blog post to the Princess doll.

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Bagged up ahead of the Games, ready for the opening ceremonies

I am using a pattern that’s available for free – Princess Poppy doll. She is the best option I could find for my purpose, which is actually to make a doll who looks like the girl in Robert Munsch’s book, The Paper Bag Princess. I love this book with its feminist twist at the end, and bought the board book months ago, knowing it would make a great gift along with a crocheted doll.


The book, the hooks, the yarn

I love crocheted toys but I don’t necessarily love making them. Those fiddly little tubes for her arms and legs were a frustrating job to crochet, and let’s not dwell on the agony of getting polyester fibrefill into those tubes. The body was a comparative joy after the limbs, but with a 3.25mm hook the yarn gets splitty and doesn’t always like to co-operate.


Components ready to assemble

Sewing the bits together was pretty easy and it’s good to see how tall the doll is going to be when she’s done (about nine inches).


Assembled and ready to add hair and clothes

After I took these photos, I added a cap of brown ‘hair’: this princess is not going to be blonde, partly because her crown is going to be yellow, and her dress (ie paper bag) will be camel, and blonde hair would just look too washed out, and also partly because the little girl who will be receiving this is dark and I’m sure she would like the doll to look more like her.

After the cap is sewn on, one adds strands of hair with a crochet hook. I haven’t done hair this way on a doll before but it seems to be a good method. I am part way through and will show you more next time. She will need eyes and a mouth, and then I will have to design a dress that looks like a paper bag! I have an idea in mind and hope it works out.

I’ve entered two projects in the Ravelry version of the Olymp*cs (mustn’t get in trouble saying the ‘O’ word). This doll is my Toy Bobsleigh entry, and the March sweater is entered into the WIPs Dancing event. I have even been following some of the real Games online with a couple of You Tube channels – one is the CBC and the other is a channel that is streaming live. I have enjoyed seeing the snowboard slope style and tried to pick up a few tips!!! (We are heading to the ski hill tomorrow for Family Day.)

I am a little stiff in places from yesterday’s five pin bowling (especially the left glute, from all that lunging)! When Tai Chi Man and I went to the gym today, I spent the time on the treadmill (43 minutes) which was really easy as I had a crochet podcast to watch. Tonight, I am groaning a bit each time I get up off the couch, and after tomorrow’s snowboarding it’ll probably be even more interesting.

Hope you guys all have a fantastic week. I’ll talk to you again soon.





Almost finished!


We are at the 22nd of January already, and my January sweater deadline is fast approaching, but I’m going to make it!


Since my last update, I have finished the yoke (inserting two more short rows near the back of the neck), knitted a ribbed turtleneck (adding stitches for the foldover part to accommodate the bulk and not be too tight), grafted the underarm stitches and started on the cuff hem lining.


The colour of the lining was dictated by the fullest ball of Stylecraft Special Aran that I had, plus I wanted it to be bright to give the grey sweater a lift. Using two strands of Pomegranate and a US10.5 needle, I picked up stitches on the inner edge of the cuff. Obviously I had to increase, because the gauge is very different from the main part of the sweater, so I made an educated guess and did a Make One after each two stitches picked up. And it worked!


I still haven’t fastened anything off or woven any ends in. I’ll do that after the second cuff and the bottom hem are done, but before washing and drying.

My Hygge friends are coming over tonight so I will get more knitting time in then. So far today I’ve done some housework and started a new batch of kombucha. I had a brainwave, and realised how much easier my Mondays are if I don’t have to work. I can get the house tidied up, and dinner made and eaten, well before my friends come at 7.30pm. Not so easy if you have to work until 6 or 6.15. So I have changed my scheduling preferences at work to say I am unavailable on Mondays.

I picked up my latest hold at the library this week – Jeremy Poldark, book 3 in the Poldark series – and it’s not a huge tome so I immediately reserved book 4, Warleggan, so I can get that one soon. I also found these…


I don’t know whether I’ll make any of the projects, but the Arne and Carlos book is just a feast of eye candy! Beautiful colours of yarn and flowers and blankets and toys and the best doll’s house ever. Worth borrowing from the library for sure.

It’s a beautiful day out there, cold and windy of course, but the sun is streaming in. Hmmm, I should probably fit a neighbourhood walk into my afternoon. And while I’m out, I’ll annoy the boys and open some windows perhaps! It helps to keep the humidity down indoors. We had quite a problem with condensation last winter, with the new less-draughty windows.

Better get on then. Hope you have a great day!


Flashin’ the stash


Well, it’s that time again. The calendar is showing us a new year and a new thread has opened up on Ravelry called Flash your Stash 2018.

I’ve done this before and it’s rather fun, and interesting too, because you get to see what’s been lurking in cubbies and bags and boxes for a while and you can make sure that everything is photographed and listed on your Ravelry stash page.

I have a relatively small stash compared to many yarn collectors…erm, I mean knitters and crocheters on Ravelry. Some have entire rooms dedicated to yarn and their photos look like actual stores.

However much one has, I think it’s important to keep it organized and bug-free and current. (I find it’s also good not to have it get out of control, because then I feel pressured by it. Your mileage, as they say, may vary.) This time around I have decided to give away a couple more things that I don’t love.

Here are some photos…


These two pictures show the entire stash. The yarn above the gap in the first photo is acrylic, mostly worsted and bulky, except for a few DK cakes. The yarn below the gap is plant fibres like hemp, cotton and linen. The second photo is all my solid DK, organised by colour, which is a mix of Stylecraft Special, Deramores Studio and Carolina. The squares were going to be an afghan, but I changed my mind on that so they are waiting for inspiration to strike.

More shots of groupings, e.g. plant fibres, Stylecraft Special Aran, Loops & Threads Impeccable, cakes, worsted and bulky. The navy blue balls in a clear plastic bag are Willow Yarns Wash Bulky from a frogged sweater. Those have probably been in the stash the longest.  Click on the thumbnails to embiggen.



And my WIPs, which are possibly not going to continue to fruition. The four-strands-of-aran-weight-yarn sweater which I was so excited to start on 15mm needles is looking a little messy. The knitting is sloppy and the gauge, while close to that asked for in the pattern, is looser than I’d like. I can foresee this being a sweater that loses its shape quickly, stretches out, and ends up in the closet. So I may try a smaller needle with three or four strands instead and see if I like the fabric, then make a sweater based on my personal gauge.

I’m typing the draft of this at the gym while on a stationary bike. It’s a great way to pass the time. Better than staring at the wall anyway. Tai Chi Man and I were joking that we’d probably see an influx of people after January 1st because, you know, New Year’s Resolutions. I like the upstairs ladies-only part of the gym when I’m alone. If we both go, then we use the co-ed part downstairs.

I probably should get off here and do some weights so I’ll upload the photos to this post later.

Three hours pass...

OK, now adding photos and editing my typos. Dinner is done and it’s couch time. The yarn has been taken back to my craft room, though not put away properly yet. Now that my stash is officially flashed, both here and on Ravelry, I should spend a little time putting it all away neatly. Unlike many of the flashers, who say they have too much and want to go on a yarn diet, I am happy to look out for yarn for sweaters this year. Sweater quantities, in other words enough of one yarn or colour to make a whole sweater, are something my stash lacks. And now that I’ve made something for just about everyone I know, it’s time to be a little selfish and make some garments for myself this year.

Do you flash your stash? Do you even have a stash? Let me know in the comments 🙂


2017 project review

2017 project review


Hi all and Happy New Year. It’s getting to the end of the first day of 2018 and I’m ready for bed (and it’s only 9pm). Last night we didn’t do anything special to see in the new year (as usual). Tai Chi Man was in bed early (as usual). I stayed up and binge-watched season one of a series on Netflix called Rectify. I found it strangely compelling.

So what I’m saying is that I did stay up past midnight, but not because it was New Year’s Eve!

The trouble with watching too much TV is that your brain is hopped up on electronic vibes and when you do go to bed, overtired, you can’t get to sleep easily. Still, I just lay there knowing that I would eventually get to sleep, and I did. But of course I woke up at the usual time so didn’t get enough rest, and I’m feeling it now.

I just did a quick review of the projects I have knitted and crocheted in 2017. This is why I love Ravelry. I can quickly scroll through  my project page, noting down what I made (of course if I had remembered to tag each project with the year, I could have done it even more quickly).

My favourite projects of the year would be the Spill Shawl, Anouska’s bag (the camper van one) and the Hungry Caterpillar baby blanket and cocoon. (All links to my Ravelry notebook.) I picked the shawl because the yarn worked perfectly with the design, and it’s in my favourite colours, the bag because I designed it and my niece loved it, and the baby blanket because it was a labour of love and the new parents loved it. And they’re all cute!!!

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So, what did I make last year.

9 scarves/cowls, 2 baby blankets, 2 loveys, 1 pair of baby booties, 1 baby cocoon, 31 hats, 4 squares/coasters, 7 bags/cosies, 8 dishcloths, 3 baby sweaters, 1 poncho, 1 twiddle muff, 2 towel loops, 1 tank top, 1 baby dress, 6 rugs/cat mats, 2 shawls, 1 wreath (sunflower, pumpkins, leaves), 1 basket, 3 pairs of mittens, 1 pair of slippers

That makes a grand total of 88 items, counting the bits for the wreath as only one. Not bad at all.

However, there is an absence of larger projects. No big throws or blankets (I do already have a good pile of those so didn’t really NEED another one) and no adult sweaters or other garments, except for the linen tank top. So what I’m thinking for this year is that maybe I’d like to make a goal (NOT a resolution, of course, because I don’t make those) of knitting or crocheting a sweater a month. Doable? Maybe. FullSizeRender (1)

As for WIPs, I still have a couple of those and I’m not sure whether or not they will be finished. And I have some squares that I made for a blanket out of DK yarn (pictured above) that were joined together, but I decided I didn’t like how it was turning out so I took them apart. The ends were woven in on the squares so I didn’t frog them but will have to find a use for them later on.

I see a new thread was started on the Ravelry forums today – Flash your Stash 2018 – and I may well do that one of these days. My stash is quite manageable at the moment as I used some up or gave some away, so it wouldn’t be a huge task to pull it out and photograph it. I had culled the vintage stuff out and just kept the ‘nice’ stuff, but of course this then seemed to create a vacuum into which more yarn arrived. A co-worker gave me a bag of her unwanted acrylic. I kept it, though, as much of it is black and can be used in future scrap blankets or whatever.

So what else? I’ve already mentioned my thought of making a sweater a month. Another monthly goal that would be awesome to follow through on would be to sew myself a garment. I would add unique items to my wardrobe while getting more proficient at making things that I can wear in public. (I still want to make the sweater pictured below, it would be a quick knit, achievable in a month, but I STILL haven’t found the right yarn for the job!)


Weekly goals are simple. Continue hosting my Hygge group on Monday nights, keep in touch with friends, and call my mum. Daily goals include doing something active (gym, walking, yoga, work) and being grateful for everything. I shall have to write these out and put them on the wall somewhere so I see them every day.

Now it’s time to love you and leave you, as they say, and I will talk to you again soon. Happy crafting.


Knitting and snow

Knitting and snow

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Two weeks! Haven’t I been a naughty blogger! Time to update you on my WIP. Last time I had a couple of FOs to show you and was stuck as to what to make next. Well, I made a decision, and I’m using my two cakes of Bernat Pop! in Birch Bark and Blue to make a shawlette/scarf type thing.

The pattern is here. It’s called the Pebble Beach Baktus and it’s an easy knit, mostly garter stitch but with a lace and bobble border that adds just a little interest while still being something I can knit while watching Netflix! It’s funny how technology has taken over our lives (well, sad too, in a way) but I can have my laptop open playing a movie or TV series and my iPad open in iBooks with a knitting or crochet pattern at the same time.

I’m just over half way through this. I decided to start on the decreasing half before I ran out of the first cake of yarn, as I am going to have to wind off a little bit of colour at the end of the first cake and the beginning of the next to get the correct colour transition.

It doesn’t look like a lot of progress for two weeks, does it!? But other stuff gets in the way (you know, annoying things like work, and cooking, and housework) plus I decided to knit a quick dishcloth during my Monday night social evening rather than try to keep track of rows and yarnovers and skp’s.

What else is new? Well, I have three tradesmen here today. They are all subcontracted by the same plumbing, heating and air conditioning company. One is replacing taps next to my washer and dryer, and also the outside tap on the other side of the wall to those. One is servicing our furnace. One has been crawling through the insulation in the roof space and is replacing the old, pathetic fan in the en suite bathroom ceiling. I don’t envy these guys. Mostly they are working in a tight space, in our case in an old 1970s house, trying to fix new stuff to old stuff. I know they get paid well, but still, I wouldn’t want their jobs.


View from my deck today – two trucks out front. And looking in the other directions…

Lots of snow! A few days ago, it snowed solidly for about 24 hours. Then the temperature dropped to well below freezing so it stuck! This is the earliest snowfall we’ve had here since 2001, I believe. And it was a huge dump. We have a few more days of sub-zero to look forward to, and then it’s rising, so it’ll all be melted by the weekend probably.

Tai Chi Man and ds1 fitted both cars with the winter tires on Friday (a day after the snow arrived but he’d mentally scheduled the job for the weekend and the snow caught us out)!

It’s lovely and crisp out there. The sun is doing its best to come out and the light is beautiful.

Thinking of Netflix again, I watched Season 2 of Stranger Things. Definitely enjoyed that. If you haven’t watched it, I recommend it (starting with Season 1 of course).

I worked three days straight, Friday to Sunday, and the weekend was busy busy busy with a flash sale. I’m very glad to have the day at home today. Knowing these guys were going to show up today, but not knowing what time, I was awake at 6.50 (thanks to the time change) and quickly washed and dressed and started cleaning around. My man-boys have not been keeping up with their chore lists. It’s pretty disappointing really. So before I even had a glass of water and a cup of tea I cleaned three bathrooms, cleaned up the kitchen including mopping the floor and scrubbing the stovetop, took out the recycling, put away the laundry etc etc. Not worth vacuuming until the workmen have left.

My body will be pleased to have a rest day from work and workouts. I had a lot of aches and pains over the weekend. A muscle in the top of my right leg keeps giving me a stabbing pain, my right shoulder has been painful again, and my friend, who I went to for some healing touch the other night, has told me I should cut back on heavy lifting that strains the lower back as I have some compression happening in there. Also my neck is always ‘crunchy’ and is not as mobile as I would like. So I will have to be careful not to overdo things at the gym and the store.

Well, that’s probably enough waffling for now. As my bathroom fan guy clatters along in the roof space above my head, I should probably eat a late breakfast!!  Happy Monday to you all!

A weekend retreat


Tai Chi Man and I are away for the weekend, leaving the three young men at home to eat, sleep and play unhindered! They are all adults now and can fend for themselves. Husband has classes, so I’m seeing him for short bursts of time in between. When I am alone, I am bingeing on Netflix (latest TV series watched is The Five), crocheting, computering, and this morning I hit the gym and the pool right here in the hotel. Gosh, it’s a tough life! I’ve also been out for a few short walks.

The view from our hotel room is very lovely and very changeable. The weather yesterday was low 20s (Celsius) and sunny, today it’s low teens and showery.


That last one is today’s. Please excuse the dirty window. Nothing I can do about that!

I’m pleased to have a Ta Dah moment for the Spill Shawl. It’s not blocked, as I just finished it last night. I did try taking photos at the time, but a dimly lit hotel room is definitely not the ideal location so I took it out with me this afternoon. I found a nice stretch of beach to walk along and an interesting bit of fallen tree to drape the shawl on.

The last couple of rows are not the Lion Brand Mandala yarn, they are Deramores Studio DK in Jade. It was big enough by the end of the skein (and 67 rows) to call it quits but I thought a brighter/darker colour than the grey would finish it off better.

The other FO I have to show you is one I started and finished this morning, while drinking tea after my workout.

The pattern is from the book in the photos. It’s a sunflower to add to the pumpkin wreath in my kitchen. I used Stylecraft Special Aran in copper for the centre and lemon for the petals. It’s got great texture from all the popcorns.

I had checked Google Maps for getting a bead on the area and how to get to where I needed, but after the beach my aim was to find the large supermarket beside the Trans Canada highway. I did find it, just by a somewhat roundabout route. We have a small two-burner stovetop in our hotel room, and yesterday I threw together a very simple dinner from a can of kidney beans, a can of tomatoes, part of a bag of frozen vegetables, some salt and some chipotle flakes. OMG, I love chipotle. Smoked jalapeno, for those who don’t know, and I have the powder at home but forgot to bring any condiments or seasonings with me. So when I found the jar of flakes at the supermarket yesterday I just had to buy it.

Tonight I think we’ll have avocado and tomato on toast, and tomorrow night it’ll be pasta with olives, artichokes, tomatoes, peppers – and maybe some more of those chipotle flakes!

Brrr! I actually had to put a sweater on.

Hope your weekend is awesome. Bye for now!