The summer kept me busy either sitting at horse shows (and lessons) or tagging along to Elliot's concerts. Not much gardening was done this summer (it was the summer of "I will plant you and then you are on your own"), nor food preservation (Oh, that was a hard one to give up for me but there's always next year and in the meantime grocery stores do exist. We won't starve.) But what did get done this summer was spending a whole lot of days with my growing children (really, at 14 and 17 they're not children any more) and while waiting at those concerts and lessons and competitions I was, you guessed it, knitting. (I've got more details for all of these over on my Ravelry page if that sort of thing interests you.)
There were three shawls: Drachenfels, in a merino-cashmere blend that is so soft I dare say I'm looking forward to the cooler weather just so I can wrap myself up in this goodness.
Striated in linen-silk, just perfect for cool summer evenings.
And Kyna, a celtic knot shawl in a soft merino-alpaca
I'm currently on a mission to use up all those part-balls of yarn I've got hanging around here and these gauntlets were the first of the Leftover Yarn Projects.
Two pairs of socks (crossing some things off the Christmas list in June is rather satisfying indeed).
An Abernathy sweater for my nephew's first birthday.
Another birthday gift – this one for my dad, the biggest Kitchener Rangers fan I know (modelled here by Elliot). I'm hoping it will keep him toasty every Friday night as he watches the game from his season pass seat at The Aud. Go Rangers!
And one more hat, this one for the Habs fan in our house. With a pompom. Because apparently that's what 17 year olds want on a hat knit by their mom.
Of course, this was in my head the entire time I was knitting it. Every Canadian kid grows up watching this short in elementary school and every Canadian knows the tune by heart. I'm giving away my age here, but when the song plays in my head I can hear the clickity-click of the reel to reel projector as it plays the movie from the back of the classroom.
My favourite numbers?
Elliot and Lucy singing Ed Sheeran:
The 2000 glow sticks that went into Radioactive:
And this Sam Smith medley, because a) that kid can sing, and b) when those four young gents start to harmonize at around 2:40 I get goosebumps.
And then – a horse show!
On today's agenda – laundry. Also a nap.
Two more shawls that recently came off the needles –
Shawl Two: Moab (funny enough, I knit most of this shawl in between rounds of Horse-opoly with my nephew, who was staying with us while my brother and sister-in-law were on their annual bike trip to Moab, Utah).
I was gifted some Freia Flux Lace for my birthday this past year and it told me right away that it wanted to be knit into a shawl – something fairly plain to show off the colour changes, but not too plain because that would be just boring.
The Moab pattern fit the bill perfectly – plain knitting for a good chunk of time (keeps me amused while I wait out my turn in jail the horse trailer and my nephew passes Giddyup, collects $200, and proceeds to buy yet more horses) but just when it starts to get tedious (the garter stitch knitting, not the game) Bam! – there's a lace edging (which takes the edge off the fact that my nephew is now putting bales of hay and barns on both Percheron and Clydesdale and has counted my small stash of money and determined that I'm toast as soon as I land on either one of them because even if I sold my little Welsh Mountain pony it still wouldn't be enough. Emory's just hoping for the horseplay card that tells her she needs to perform her best trot around the room).
My epic loss at Horse-opoly aside, I'm pleased with the way the Freia yarn worked with the Moab pattern. It turned out not to be a very large shawl – more like a shawlette – but that will be just fine. Sometimes you don't need a large wrap. Sometimes you just need just a little something on your shoulders, you know? Maybe to brighten up my next game of Horse-opoly?
This sweater was finished a few weeks ago but I hadn't had the chance to upload the pictures yet (You know, internet issues and all – which, by the way, seem to be solved. Apparently if you live in a house built in 1930 you need to update the wiring in order to support 2015 technology).
But let's forget about modern technology for now and talk about old-fashioned knitting techniques. Yes, that sounds good. Have you seen Kate Davies' newest book Yokes? I want to make everything in it. Because, you know, one can never have too many shetland knits. Also, I may have a little bit of an addiction to traditional colourwork knitting.
As is the traditional fair-isle style I knit the sweater in the round –
And when it was all done, added a crochet reinforcement –
Then cut straight up the front with a nice sharp pair of scissors –
And, finally, picked up stitches on either side to knit a button band.
I also added grosgrain ribbon to both sides (I like the stability it adds to knitwear, plus it just neatens everything up).
And that's sweater Number One knit from my long list of I-must-knit-all-the-shetland-sweaters. So much knitting, so little time. If only I didn't have things like laundry and vacuuming the house...
(Ravelry notes here)
I have a love-hate relationship with technology. Our internet goes down at least two times a day and although the employees at our service provider's call centre are lovely people to talk to, I'm getting weary of calling them daily. I would consider simply going without internet just so I can have my sanity back but in this day and age that would be ridiculous. Thank goodness for public libraries and internet cafes. Our current status is occasional internet and no land-line phone (perhaps the phone line is interfering with your WiFi ma'am? Let's unplug your phone for a few days and see if that helps). If you need me, I'm apparently accessible only through carrier pigeon right now. Anyone know where I can get one?
Horse show season has begun and we spent this past long weekend cheering on all the girls from the barn. Emory and Thief had a great day and everyone came home exhausted but happy and I'm pretty sure we all fell asleep before the fireworks started.
I still haven't planted the garden. This past weekend is the usual go-ahead-and-plant green light for gardeners in our area but I was busy and when I wasn't busy I was too tired and, well, I just didn't get to it. I guess it all worked out though because the temperature went down to two degrees last night and I didn't have to run outside in my pyjamas like a crazy lady to put frost covers over the (non-existent) tomato plants. As Cam would say, "Yesterday's lazy cures today's crazy." Perhaps I'll get to planting tomorrow? Today the not-so-baby-anymore chicks are weeding the garden for me.
Other than that, life is pretty as-per-usual around here. The lilacs are in full bloom and I take a deep breath every time I go out into the yard. Sometimes I go out for no reason other than to smell the lilacs. I do things like that. Especially after talking to the call centre.
P.S. You know what doesn't need the internet? Acoustic guitars. If you're local and play guitar (even a little bit – the chords are easy, I promise) come on out to The Registry Theatre on Sunday. One hundred guitars playing Stand By Me all at the same time is something you don't want to miss (think 100 guitars falling slowly, but this time it's 100 guitars playing to raise money for Nepal). If you're interested in coming and playing along with us, you can sign up here.
Poor Josephine. She was started back in October but set aside first for all that holiday knitting, then Emory's sweater (which was knit, frogged, and re-knit), and finally a few samples for the shop. The poor, neglected knitting was finally rescued from the project bag in the corner of the studio and shown some love, and just in time too. She'll make a wonderful summer shawl, I'm thinking – nice and light and perfect for cool summer evenings.
The pattern is Josephine and I followed it as written, but chose not to put the beads along the bottom edge (Only because I didn't have any beads in the house when I wanted to start the project and I was too impatient to wait until the next time I was at the shop. Sometimes decisions are made that way.)
She's knit up in Koigu merino lace, colour L2410 (Isn't that the most boring colour name you've ever heard? Anne Shirley would not be impressed, I tell you.) Despite the un-imaginative name, the colour is beautiful and it was a lovely yarn to work with so I think it has redeemed itself. I still have one and a half skeins left and am pondering what else I can work on with my new friend L2410. Perhaps a cowl? Or maybe another shawl (I just might have a 'few' on my Ravelry queue. I do love a nice shawl).
The first bouquets are brightening up the house. Egg season is in full swing, bringing with it quiche and devilled eggs and soft boiled eggs and scrambled eggs and eggs sunny-side up and any other way we can think to eat them for breakfast, lunch, and dinner. The geraniums have finally been permitted to bloom and will make their way outdoors just as soon as I can be assured there will be no more frost. Light and airy fibres are being spun (blue face leicester/tussah silk – not a bad way to spend a few minutes every day). Knitting is brought outside, where it needs to be protected from the chickens who think that shiny stitch markers are irresistible (these girls sure do like their bling). We're eating asparagus for dinner and the rhubarb is not far behind. There is dirt under my fingernails.
Spring. It has arrived!
1. The root cellar is almost empty.
2. But it doesn't matter because there is lettuce growing in the cold frame outside. Lettuce!
3. The garlic is popping up from under it's winter blanket of mulch, and the rhubarb and asparagus are noticeably growing as well. Spring has arrived!
4. Our chickens have taken to regular strolls across the snow-free yard.
5. The babies are growing quickly.
6. Two major knitting projects have come off the needles and I promise to come back and share them with you next week.
7. Elliot's band is entered into the CBC radio's Searchlight competition again this year and have made it past the first two cuts and into the third round! If you're so inclined, have a listen to their entry song 'Oak' here and if you like it, give it a vote – we'd greatly appreciate it!
8. I'm heading in to Frolic today – maybe I'll see you there? I'll be the one in the corner, hoarding all the yarn, murmuring 'my precious'.