Monday, 27 April 2009


I have several projects on the go.

The Flower and Leaf shawl is looking much better since it was frogged and reknit with the correct centre decrease.

On the left the decrease on the flower stem leaned to the left. On the right, the decrease is clearly in the centre.

I also have been working on the Nightsongs (Gail) shawl.

Yesterday I started a Lace Ribbon Scarf with the yummy Black Lamb Soy Silk yarn.

I'm hoping I don't get too bored with the pattern as I have about 70 more inches to knit.

Skip has been asking me to knit him a nice scarf and I finally settled on the Labyrinth scarf from the Labyrinth Duo from the Winter 2008 Knitter's magazine.

It's a nice superwash merino yarn - Queensland Collection Rustic Wool. I bought it for almost half price at Mary Maxim a while back. This project will use all 4 balls - at least a start at stashbusting.

I finally settled on this pattern because the scarf is reversible and will be a nice weight. Once blocked the 'maze' will be evident.

Tomorrow I'm visiting Marion for two days at her daughter's place where she is house-sitting for three weeks. We're going to hit the yarn shops in London and St. Thomas and do a lot of knitting - ergo the term 'knitting camp'. There's also a hot tub to soak in. Wednesday night we're going to see 'Dream Girls' at the Grand Theatre. Then on Thursday morning, I'll continue westward to my sister's where I'll visit with her spend the night. Friday morning I'll meet my former colleagues for breakfast and then drive back to The Big City where I'm meeting Lorna, Nancy and Sue for dinner. We haven't seen each other in ages.

Sunday, 26 April 2009

Frolicking with Knitters

I have been doing a lot of knitting and stash-building lately. Last weekend Marion and I headed out for a yarn crawl. We visited Unwind Yarn House and Serenity Knits in Newmarket - both lovely yarn shops with lots of selection. We also visited On the Lamb in Uxbridge and Ferguson's in Myrtle Station. This is what I picked up:

Some Nashua 75/25 wool/alpaca worsted yarn,

Austermann Step solid-coloured sock yarn,

2 skeins of shiny Linares cotton/viscose yarn,

and Drops cotton/viscose yarn from which I'm knitting Vickie's Flower (and Leaves) Shawl.

At the Sit 'n Knit at Kniterary, we discovered a couple of errors in Vickie's pattern which necessitated my frogging the whole thing even though I had just finished the first ball of yarn and had attached the second. However, after frogging, and re-knitting, it looks much better using the centre decrease (sl2tog, k1, p2sso). Until this event, I had no idea how important the type of decrease being used was.

Yesterday, at the Knitter's Frolic I picked up a skein of lavender Soy Silk yarn,

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a skein of Sea Wool - 70/30 superwash merino seacell,

a skein of Classic Elite Silky Alpaca Lace yarn and matching beads and also a spool of 2/8 tencel with which I'm going to double to knit a stole.

I bought the Fiddlesticks Peacock Feather stole pattern, too.

Lettuce Knit was selling off a bunch of books and magazines at 5 for $10 so I picked these up, too.

Shall We Knit also sold me a bag of 5 balls of Debbie Bliss DK oatmeal-coloured merino.

It looks like a lot but I usually only buy yarn on sale under regular circumstances. However, the Knitter's Frolic, like Christmas, comes but once a year. Now to tackle some UFOs and get my new projects started. I'm in the process of putting each project in a big ziploc bag so I can just grab it and start to knit when the mood strikes. Sticky notes are invaluable for identifying which row I'm on in the pattern.

I think I'm pretty well stocked up on yarn for a while. Some other time I'll elaborate on a stash-busting project I'm working on.

Thursday, 16 April 2009

Peacock Tail and Leaf

My last lace scarf is blocked. I didn't really like knitting it that much and it didn't do anything for me in its 'blob' (unblocked) state. But now that it is blocked, it's kind of growing on me.

Presenting.... Peacock Tail and Leaf.

I usedKnitPicks Alpaca Cloud 100% baby alpaca in Papaya Heather colourway.

Here they all are - not necessarily in rainbow order:

You can really see the sheen of the KnitPicks Gloss Lace on the top three scarves.

Tuesday, 14 April 2009

Maikell Scarf and Balance

Last night I got the Maikell Scarf blocked.

This is it before blocking...

and after.

I modified it by not knitting a lace edge all the way around but only on each end.

Only one more to go!

I had a really bad/disturbing dream last night or more accurately this morning before I woke up which kind of freaked me out. I don't even want to commit the content of my dream to writing. Then just after I woke up, I remembered where I had left the case to my iPod that I had been looking for for the last two days. I believe everything in life balances out.

Monday, 13 April 2009

THE Bunny, Sensors and a Scarf

After Scooter's surprise arrival on Friday I made quick plans to have some type of special observation of Easter. I had to do all the shopping on Saturday along with all of the other harried Easter feast preparers. As I am on an austerity kick, I actually scanned the grocery store flyers for the best deals in the stuff we like to eat. At the store that had the most items on my list, I managed to find a small, fresh, stuffed chicken for Sunday's dinner and arrived home laden with my other purchases.

I was happily cleaning up after dinner on Saturday when I realized that the Easter Bunny had not done any preparation for Easter morning! So out I (E. B.) went to WalMart to do some last-minute candy egg buying. Wow! The shelves were almost bare but I did manage to find some Reese's Pieces eggs, some mini dark chocolate-filled candy eggs and some popping chocolate eggs. That's right candy eggs with pop rocks in the chocolate centres. E.B. also found a bag of caramel-filled eggs for herself. I made little Easter baskets for Skip and Scooter and went to bed.

We had a nice day yesterday. E.B.'s delivery was appreciated. We went to Markham for 'dim sum' lunch (Scooter filled up on KD when we got home) and roast chicken dinner was a big hit.

This morning, I got the car hooked up to the diagnostic computer scanner at the dealership and got good news and bad news. The bad news was that just getting the car scoped cost $119 plus tax! Sheesh! It was only $49 in Texas. Anyway, the good news was that the EGR sensor(exhaust gas recirculation - which controls and reduces nitrogen oxide formation) that had to be replaced was still under warranty so the part and labour didn't cost anything!! So I guess it was a mixed blessing. And no more check engine light glowing!

While the car was being worked on, I tinked a couple of rows of the denim Sea Silk Nightsongs shawl and tried to find my place in the pattern so I could continue knitting. The yarn is souvenir yarn I picked up in NS last September. I'll have to have another go at it later.

In the meantime, I got photos of the newly-blocked Madli II chipotle scarf.


That's three blocked with two to go. The Maikell shawl is soaking right now so I'll get it done this afternoon.

Friday, 10 April 2009

Facebooking and Blocking

My friend, Suzanne, got me onto Facebook a couple of years ago. Since then I have had a great deal of fun finding people from my past, posting pictures of my knitting and travels, posting photos of long-time friends, keeping in touch with people, sending messages, playing games, etc. There are those who pooh-pooh online communities but I say "don't knock it 'til you've tried it".

This evening, for instance, the daughter of one of my friends was looking at a photo I had posted of my sister, Valerie, and myself on my Valerie's wedding day in 1967.

My niece remarked about how short I was in the photo as I am now 6" taller than Valerie. I explained that I had just turned 13 the month before and I stayed that height until Grade 10.

The daughter of another long-time friend asked if I had photos of her mom, Francey, from our college (university) days so I went rummaging and found a few and posted them as well. The best ones, however, were of Francey and Rich's wedding day in 1980.

I met Francey in Grade 13. She moved to my hometown that year and we attended the same high school, were in the same French class and were in the school production of "Beckett". She was a lady-in-waiting and I was a court minstrel.

We ended up attending the same university ('the centre of all learning in the universe' - The University of Western Ontario) and were roommates for a couple of years. I dated her brother for 3 1/2 years and I pledged her sorority.

She also attended my wedding in 1998.

Lorna, me and Francey.

Summer of '07 we visited Francey in Columbia, Missouri.

We're wearing our Gamma Phi Beta flip flops.

Last fall the three of us spent a week in PEI, NS and NB.

What great memories - what great friends.

I don't even try to explain how much fun I have with Facebook, Ravelry, msn messenger, etc. to the nay-sayers. Some people just aren't open to trying new things. And it is their loss. If I had a CrackBerry, I'd be Twittering, too!

Now for knitting news. I grafted the 2nd border onto the Madli's Scarf II knit with KnitPicks Chipotle Gloss Lace and I blocked the Lily of the Valley scarf knit with KnitPicks Mango Gloss Lace.

Two down, three to go.

Scooter arrived on very short notice today for the long weekend so I can't do any more blocking tonight. (I use his bed). Will block more tomorrow.

Thursday, 9 April 2009

Madli's Scarf

I have started blocking the lace scarves I knit while I was in Texas. Blocking takes a bit of time - 20 minutes for the yarn to soak, a half an hour or so to get the wires through the sides, a couple of hours to dry - but the results are sure worth it.

Before . . .

and after blocking.

Before . . .

and after blocking.

Madli's Shawl pattern from Nancy Bush's "Knitted Lace of Estonia" using KnitPicks Gloss Lace yarn in Aegean colourway and 3.75mm needles. Pattern modifications: For the Madli Lace Edge, I cast on 59 stitches and did 3 repeats of the pattern. In the last row of garter stitch, I decreased 4 stitches evenly across the row (approx. every 12 stitches). That gave me the stitches (55) to do 3 reps of the pattern.

Tuesday, 7 April 2009

Bread and Socks

Skip baked bread today. I stayed out of the kitchen. We were both quite impressed with the results.

I finished the Leyburn socks and got some photos.

I wore them today because it was SNOWING!!!!




Monday, 6 April 2009

Home Again

We left South Padre Island on Tuesday morning stopping overnight at Buffalo, TX; West Memphis, AR; Greenfield, IN and Petrolia, ON (my sister's) before arriving home on Saturday at 11:30am.

We decided to try and make it home by Saturday so Skip could rest up, go visit his mother and meet Scooter downtown today to attend the Blue Jays' season opener.

As we were driving around 800km per day, I was pretty pooped each night and didn't blog along the way. The car performed wonderfully in spite of the fact that the 'check engine' light would come on and go out sporadically for no apparent reason.

In Texas, we got to see the blue bonnets along the side of the road. It is the state flower.

The weather was good except for a wee bit of drizzle on Saturday as we neared Toronto.

I am slowly getting unpacked, sorting through mail, paying bills, attending to timed items, answering correspondence, doing some banking, etc. etc. I hope to get to the gym for my 5:45 Zumba class today. I need to get moving!!!

I have imposed a fitness bootcamp on myself to make up for sitting in a car for 5 days and doing virtually no cardio while we were away. I'm pleased that only gained about a pound. I did stick pretty much to my eating program except when I had the odd plate of enchiladas, entomatadas or taquitos.

I have a bunch of lace scarves to block and tons of spring cleaning to do around the house. A knitter's work is never done.

Now home, the weather is crappy - cold and windy - and snow is expected. Pooh! I sure miss palm trees, blue skies, the sound of the waves on the shore and the warm breezes. Only 9.75 months 'til we return.