Monday, 29 June 2009

Wedded Bliss

Today is our 11th wedding anniversary and marks 14 years of our being together. It sure has gone by fast and I'm liking how things have evolved. Back when I was young and single, I was constantly told that I was being too 'picky'. I thought I was simply waiting for someone I thought I could spend the rest of my life with. I certainly didn't want to 'settle for' the first guy that came along. I knew exactly what I was looking for in a husband - I just hadn't found him yet. Who would have ever though he was just under my nose at work and that we both would become available to each other at just about the same time back in 1995? Many of my married colleagues would tell me how hard marriage was. I thought to myself that I didn't want it to be THAT hard. Yes, marriage is full of compromises but there are a certainly a lot of benefits.

I was single for much of my adult life and at times never thought I'd have my own children or even get to be involved with the raising of a child. Skip came as a package deal with Scooter who was only 1 1/2 years old when we first started dating. It has been wonderful being seeing Scooter grow up and maneuver through the many emotional, physical and intellectual changes. He's 15 1/2 now and is a fine, handsome, intelligent, young man and I cherish the relationship we have.

As a married couple, Skip and I have what one could say is the best of both worlds - married with children and without children. Scooter is with us every other weekend now and half of most holidays so the rest of the time we are like a happily retired couple whose children have left the nest. When Scooter is with us, we are a couple with a teenaged kid. We are free to pursue our hobbies and passions and to travel as much as we can afford - as much as possible, fitting our trips around our time with Scooter or including him as much as possible.

We know we are very, very fortunate to have found each other knowing that so much of life and emerging relationships is a 'crapshoot'. Having found each other later in both our lives, we had pretty much figured out what really is important in life and for the most part are like-minded in that regard.

Happy Anniversary, Honey. Here's to many, many more years of health and happiness together.

June 29, 1998

Sunday, 28 June 2009

Summertime and the Livin' is Easy (and Busy)

Skip and I have attended two retirement celebrations since my last post - Rick Norman's and Edie Kennedy's. Rick taught History at Roberts for about 25 of the last 29 years. Edie has been a secretary there for well over 33 years and Head Secretary for much of that time. She was scarily efficient and will be really missed. I do not envy her replacement, who will be a newcomer to the school.

We enjoyed seeing many of our former colleagues and welcoming Rick and Edie into our fold of retirees. Edie has been my weight-loss inspiration having lost 80+ pounds in the last two years with the help of LA Weight Loss. After seeing her so skinny on Tuesday, I have decided to step up my workouts at the gym - both the frequency and intensity - and monitor my food intake more closely.

On Saturday the 20th, Suzanne and I went to an outdoor David Cassidy concert in Peterborough in the pouring rain.

David did look like he had 'had some work done' and definitely avails himself of botox injections.

Fortunately, Suzanne had a big golf umbrella which helped somewhat but we still got a bit soggy.

I did manage to get some knitting in while we waited for the concert to start.

Last Wednesday Skip, Scooter and I made our way to Henrietta, NY - a suburb of Rochester - to attend a ladies' professional golf (LPGA) tournament sponsored by Wegmans, a US grocery chain. We had a great time being able to be so close to world-class golfers and sampling all the free snacks handed out in the merchandising tent. In fact, we didn't need lunch after trying all the treats.

We then drove to Buffalo and spent the next two days shopping. After arriving home yesterday afternoon, Skip and Scooter had a Transformers bonanza, renting and watching the DVD of the first movie yesterday and seeing the second one this morning at the movies.

Scooter is spending 3 1/2 weeks in Switzerland and the environs this summer - leaving next Sunday. I hope his hosts get a chance to take him to a lot of scenic and historic places. We won't see him again until the beginning of August, after which we have another road trip planned to Pittsford, NY with him.

I borrowed a Louet spinning wheel from one of my knitting friends, Nancy, and have been learning how to spin yarn by watching lots of YouTube videos. I have been able to figure out how to get the wheel to work and have actually spun some yarn. I'm trying to spin really thin yarn so I can make some socks or something but I'm going to need lots of practice.

Currently, I'm knitting the Leaf and Nupp Shawl from 'Knitted Lace of Estonia'. I am using some lovely raspberry-coloured Jaggerspun wool with two strands.

I'm a little over half done the centre rectangle.

After that, I have also been commissioned to knit the Triangular Scarf in Leaf Pattern using more Shetland wool, this time in a lovely purple/green colour.

Lately the template for my blog has been acting up and only displaying the photos in html. It is very annoying trying to format photos and now impossible to size them. I don't know why it's like this all of a sudden. I don't remember changing any formatting settings. Merde.

Monday, 22 June 2009

Thursday, etc.

Thursday is my favourite day of the week. I go to a Zumba class in the morning, rush home to shower and have lunch and then I head out to the first of my two knitting groups. The first group meets from 1pm - 3pm at a quaint tea shop in Brooklin, a hamlet north of Whitby on Hwy. 12. It is an eclectic group of ladies who all love to knit.

Two of the attendees, Marion and Sharion, are members of the knitting guild and Paula and Marion both work at Myrtle Station Wool and Ferguson's just a few more kilometres north in Myrtle Station. Gail and Nancy are also avid knitters who attend regularly.

After this, I go home and have supper and then head to my Thursday night knitting group at Kniterary where again, I enjoy knitting camraderie.

It is so inspiring to see what other people are knitting and combined with Ravelry, I am constantly adding things to my knitting list of 'things to do'.

Friday evening, we attended a retirement party of one of our colleagues, Rick Norman. It was fun seeing many of our former colleagues and hearing how good we looked (rested and not exhausted from finishing up the school year). Rick's speech was very good. We wish him all the best in his retirement.

On Saturday evening, Suzanne and I braved the elements and attended an outdoor concert in Peterborough where David Cassidy was playing. In spite of the heavy drizzle, the show went on and we had a great time. Of course I took my knitting to have something to do while waiting for the concert to start.

Skip and Scooter golfed early yesterday morning which allowed me to sleep in. Here they are posing on Father's Day.

We have a busy week ahead with plans to attend a couple of pavilions at Fiesta an ethnic festival in Oshawa where food and entertainment is available from a number of countries: Greece, Poland, Ukraine, Germany, Italy, Portugal, France, Serbia and the Caribbean. When I was teaching, it marked the beginning of the summer as our students were usually in exams and Skip and I would usually take in an evening show once or twice during the week. Now, we like to eat at one pavilion, watch their show and then move on to another to see the dancing.

Skip and Scooter are golfing several times this week (two different courses today) and we're also heading out to Rochester to an LPGA event with a stop in Buffalo on the way home to shop. Tomorrow we're attending a retirement party at our former school.

I have started another project from the Knitted Lace of Estonia book. This time the Leaf and Nupp Shawl in a lovely raspberry-coloured Maine-Line Jaggerspun held double. This yarn is lovely and soft. Like the Lehe Square Shawl, the centre rectangle is knit, then the stitches are picked up all around the edge and the border is knit. It should look very spiffy once it's done.

That blue edging is not part of the pattern, it's just my provisional cast-on in a smooth, contrasting yarn. Once removed, the stitches will be 'live' stitches and simply slipped on the circular needle to knit the edging.

Thursday, 18 June 2009

Hands and Hearts

Last evening was the last meeting of the Trillium Embroidery Guild before the summer break. We had potluck snacks, appetizers and desserts. The last of the embroidered hearts that we stitched for the memorial quilt were submitted. These squares will be pieced with floral fabric and then quilted and auctioned at a fundraiser for breast cancer research.

Stitchers were given the fabric and a listing of floss colours that could be used. Any heart pattern was permitted as long as there were no words (alphabets were OK).

And here they all are. (I'm not sure how to make the format less wonky)

Wednesday, 17 June 2009

Lehe Shawl

I finished the shawl on Monday and got it blocked yesterday.


It measures 42" x 42" and did soften up somewhat after wet blocking.

Now I'm itching to cast on something new. However, I'm going to try to finish the drop stitch scarf to free up the needles.

Sunday, 14 June 2009

WAYer Behind

I have been knitting like a fiend this week. I'm working on the Lehe Shawl and am now on the border around the centre square. Each round is 800+ stitches and with no interruptions, it takes me about 40 min. per round. I have 5 rounds left plus the bindoff so will probably be finishing it tomorrow. Right now it looks like a blob so I don't even have a photo. I'm waiting for the 'reveal' after I block it.

I continue to putter away on Skip's Labyrinth scarf.

I've also been working on the lovely Drop Stitch Scarf from the current (Spring/Summer 2009) Vogue Knitting magazine. I have about 60% done. Now that I look at it, I probably could have done one more repeat width-wise as the current number of repeats will make a very long scarf if I use all of the bamboo/nylon yarn. It is certainly not perfect but I'm very pleased with it and am looking forward to getting to the last row before the bindoff so I can actually drop the stitches and watch them run all the way down, thus widening the scarf another 3 inches.

Yesterday at Worldwide Knit in Public Day at Kniterary we had a delightful time. Several ladies brought their spinning wheels and a few others brought their drop spindles. I am very intrigued and have put out a call for a previously-owned, compact, spinning wheel with an attractive (to me) price.

Michelle custom-dyed sock yarn to commemorate the day. I bought a couple of skeins and am now searching for the perfect pattern for one of the skeins.

I also picked up 500yd. of some mulberry silk that might make a very nifty lace scarf.

While on Ravelry the other day, I saw some KnitPicks yarn that reminded me of Koigu called Imagination sock yarn. It is 50% merino, 25% superfine alpaca and 25% nylon. The names of the colours are very intriguing - Evil Stepmother, Wicked Witch, Woodsman, etc. Perhaps a clapotis would look lovely in one of the colours?

I have been asked to teach a series of classes on lace knitting in the fall so I've been industriously knitting up some samples. It has been great fun. Wednesday was our knitting guild's potluck supper and final meeting before the summer. Now that we'll be meeting at the Whitby Public Library every second Wednesday of the month from September to June, we'll have access to wireless Internet so in the fall I will be doing a laptop demo on Ravelry for the guild members who may want to learn about its features. I was supposed to do it in September but I just now realize I'm going to be away that week. Darn! Oh well, maybe they'll want me to do it in October or someone else could demo it in September.

Next week is the Trillium Embroidery Guild pot luck (munchies, appetizers and desserts) and last meeting before the summer. The last squares for our heart quilt will be handed in. If I remember to take my camera this time (duh!) I'll get some photos.

Sunday, 7 June 2009


Yesterday was my 2nd Ravelryversary. I believe Ravelry has revolutionized the world of knitting and crochet by making so much information accessible to anyone who signs up. For those of you who don't know what I'm talking about, Ravelry is an online knitting and crochet community with over 364,000 members worldwise (as I write this). It's like the Facebook of knitting. People can post their projects with all the pertinent information (dates, photos, needles used, yarn used, comments, etc.) and search what other patterns and yarns other people have used. Many, many patterns are free and they are either downloads from Ravelry itself or links to the patterns online. I certainly try to inform every knitter that I know about it as it is such a valuable resource.

I continue to be excited about my new knitting gig - making up samples for a local yarn shop and planning a series of classes on lace knitting I will be teaching in the fall.

Currently I'm working on the Lehe square shawl from Nancy Bush's "Knitted Lace of Estonia". I'm about half done the centre square after which I will pick up stitches all around the edge and knit the border. I thought it would be a lot harder to do but I find the instructions in this book are very clearly written, easy to follow and there are very few errata.

Today marked the 6th class I have taken at the gym since last Sunday - 2 weight-lifting and 4 Zumbas. I've been really putting a push on to try and get off this effing weight plateau but the results have been disappointing. However, my doctor and I may have found a medical reason for my lack of weight-loss. Blood tests I took last week indicated that I have little or no thyroid function. The normal range is 0.3 to 3.0 of TSH (thyroid stimulating hormone) and my number was 13.8 - WAY out of the normal range. So I went for some more blood tests and will get the results at the doctor tomorrow. It would be freaking awesome if these last 10 lb. would fall right off me once my thyroid levels get straightened out. I sure am keeping my fingers crossed and continuing my push at the gym.

Wednesday, 3 June 2009

I finished blocking the Hello Possums! scarf and am pleased with the results.

I hope to finish the Branching Out scarf today. I only have about 2 more pattern repeats to go plus the garter stitch top edge.

We have had an unusually cold spring and only this week are getting typical temperatures. In spite of the cold weather, the garden is leaping into verdant splendour.

This is only one bleeding heart (dicentra spectabilis) plant. I am always amazed at how far it spreads.

Just outside our front door, a momma robin has set up housekeeping on one of our lights.

She is not happy when we have to leave the house. Hopefully she and her brood (once they hatch) will be on their way soon.