Monday, November 30, 2015

So much for November

That NaBloPoMo was semi-successful, I suppose. I got off track mid-month and never really got back on. I really should write something on the last day of the month, just to show I haven't given up altogether.

What I am doing these days is Doodling all the time!

600+ stitches crammed on a metre-long needle

I am still on the third clue, although the fourth was released last Friday. Sometime last week I wrote on Ravelry that I sure hoped the last clue wouldn't just be to finish off the 644 stitches with i-cord... and guess what, that's what it is. There is an optional flourish, which I don't like at all, so I am searching for a nice knit-on edging.

The two places I look for such things are probably the most used books in my collection. There are others I like to gawp at, dreaming of one day making something out of them, but the ones with patterns that I actually do use are Nicki Epstein's Knitting on the Edge  (Rav link) and Jan Eaton's 200 Knitted Blocks (Rav link).

My Doodler is meant to evoke the fall leaves that were so colourful when I was choosing yarn a month ago, so I think I am going to make a leaf border in my leftover scraps along the 644-stitch edge. We know from past experience that this could take forever, but somehow I think it will not make me as crazy as an i-cord edging would, and it will look way cooler.

Luckily my books agree on a simple, leafy border that should only take me a year or two to complete over 644 stitches.

Did I mention that there are six hundred and forty-four stitches here?

Wednesday, November 25, 2015

Gingerbread space ships

Today we have the traditional gingerbread space shuttles and rocket ships.

I used this recipe, but I'm not icing and stacking them! Some go in the freezer for later, but some might just get eaten now.

Tuesday, November 24, 2015

The Golden Cup

Isn't that a book title?

One of my new old cups is gold!

Can you see the photographer's reflection?
Not real gold, of course, but bone china, covered with something golden and shiny.

You can see on the saucer the coating is worn away. Surely not from excessive use. I wish I knew more about how, when, where my mom came across these! It seems this cup is not ancient, but from the 1950s or 60s.

Still knitting away. The thing about a shawl is, you're almost always going to end up with 500-stitch rows, and you just have to resign yourself to them. Slog, slog, slog.

Sunday, November 22, 2015


My mom had a few nice china teacups. And now I have them. All different, most of them too small for a comfortable cuppa, but so pretty! I'll show you some individual ones as the days go by.

Wednesday, November 18, 2015

Second Clue

All set for the third set of instructions coming out tomorrow night. We have a piece completely surrounded by i-cord, and two clues to go.

I'm not too keen on the big cable, but it is certainly an interesting way to do things, and I do like the i-cord edge. I made two moderate twists instead of one humungous one for the last couple of cables, and I wish I'd done that for the whole length. Next time...

Tuesday, November 17, 2015

About a month to go

The temperature scarf's year ends on December 20th. Or, indeed, when the spiral comes around to the level of the first row!

It's getting colder; I haven't used orange for a week or so. But the nights are still above freezing, so I don't know if I'll get any blues in before Dec. 20.

Monday, November 16, 2015

Was away, now I'm back

Hello out there in blogland.
I was away for almost a week in BC, visiting three sisters, two nieces, one nephew, one great-niece and one great-nephew, and a dad. And a spouse/in-law or two...

Historico-crafty-wise, I have a few photos for you.

This is my niece's son, Tomas. He is standing on a blanket/rug made from my 1970s poncho! My mom crocheted this originally as a square with a hole in for my head, but it is made of indestructible acrylic and when I stopped wearing it as a poncho, she repurposed it. It is lined with something warm and has been used as lap cover, crib blanket, rug, for generations, apparently... Quite a delight to see that in action!

This is my dad's scooter, complete with a nice warm scarf in the basket. A scarf I made in 2005, in fact. My brother-in-law used it for a while, I think. Nice to see that still being used, too. My dad is 97, and now he has a new pair of socks that should see him through to his 100th birthday at least. I seem to have not taken a picture of the completed pair, though I remember laying them out on the floor to admire them!

Enough for now. Tomorrow I hope to show you my MKAL progress. I did get quite a bit of knitting done!

Monday, November 09, 2015

Cabbages and gourd

I grew the cabbages, but not the gourd. The cabbages look nice, but they were supposed to be sufficiently cabbage-y to eat! The gourd is one of those crazy decorative things, and I think I will try to grow some of these next year, though I have no space for such things.

So crazy. I love how the colour seems to stretch to fit.

Off to the wild west tomorrow, and I think I am only taking my phone, so don't expect much in the way of blogging. If we are all very good, I might be able to pre-write some things to post while I am away!

Sunday, November 08, 2015

More on the mystery knitalong

In case you are wondering if you, too, should do the Stephen West knitalong, I will show you his enticing video. Who can refuse this guy?

I went out today and bought a new third colour, a sort of poopy green. (What, Mary is using green yarn, what a surprise!) I think the whole thing will be a tad eye-searing, but that's okay.

Still knitting, and my arm is objecting slightly. I think I won't get all the first clue done before I take off for BC on Tuesday morning, so I guess I know what I'll be knitting on the plane now. (I'm packing a sock as well, of course.)

And in other news, Elaine and Stephen both got new i-Phones! OMG. She's sitting here beeping and blurping at me, trying out new ringtones and so on. 

Saturday, November 07, 2015

The knitalong is under way

This is my Stephen West mystery shawl so far. Pretty jazzy, non? I was somewhat alarmed to see that lime green appear in real life, as it didn't really make an impression on me in the ball. I have a few more wedges to do in Clue 1, before Clue 2 comes out this Friday.

I think I will use the dark green, rather than the multi-coloured yarn, for the third colour. The multi seems too wimpy now!

I can't wait to see how this piece progresses!

Friday, November 06, 2015

Another new treasure

Yesterday I showed you some of our garbage-picking prizes, and today we get the little rug I found on our second pass by the pile.

It appears to be handmade. It's nicely backed, and you can see it's been walked on and is a bit worn. 

It is a real delight, but I think the place for it in my house is in the basement in front of the washing machine. I shall admire it weekly!

Thursday, November 05, 2015

Garbage picking with the rich

This morning I walked up to Wychwood Park with my neighbour Barb's exercise class. There was not much puffing and panting, since we just strolled from house to house, talking about architecture and history and looking at the gorgeous trees. (I thought I didn't have my phone with me, but it turned out I did. Oh well, no photos of that today.)

It was garbage day, and the bins were out on the street for pickup. We passed one house that had boxes of stuff: paintings in frames, a vase, and a cardboard box containing wrapped crystal glasses, in the Pinwheel pattern. (Another of our number said that when she got married in 1966, she chose this as her wedding crystal pattern; this is what I call the "old ladies' exercise class"...)

Soon we were doing our tour of the neighbourhood lugging souvenirs -- luckily one woman grabbed a suitcase out of the pile and we were able to stash most of the glasses in that. My bag got used to carry these ones, but I shall give them to Barb, who aims to get them to a church bazaar. I might ask to keep a couple, just because!

Imagine putting these out -- what if the garbage truck had got there before the garbage-picking old ladies' exercise class?! We figure someone had died and the heirs are just emptying the house.

On our way back, we stopped by this house once more so someone could see if the vase was still there. It had gone, but some new things had been added to the pile. I'll show you tomorrow what else I got!

Wednesday, November 04, 2015

Sock yarn stories

This time two years ago, I was reviewing my sock yarn stash to imagine all the things I would be knitting with it. I am embarrassed to say, not much has happened with those specific bits of sock yarn in the intervening years.

The one bright note is that the last yarn in that post, the Kroy FX, is very nearly a pair of socks. Any day now.

Two of them, the Sock Ease and the Lang Jawoll Cotton, are being used in my Stephen West Doodler, starting November 6th! Yikes, that is Friday!

Of course I look forward to making zebra-striped socks! Maybe next year...

Tuesday, November 03, 2015

My mitts match my environment

I was out for a walk the other day, and had to keep stopping to take pictures of my mitten and all the golden greeny things it went with. 

Monday, November 02, 2015

Après Hallowe'en traditions

innocents awaiting their fate
Last night we had our usual neighbourhood Pumpkin Patch in the park. This year, Elaine got to be the one wandering around with a big lighter and a handful of candles, topping things up. 

You've seen this all before, in 2011, and the aftermath from 2009. Things have progressed so that we don't just heap them up in a corner of the park; Elaine and her gang had to toss them all into dumpsters. 

This year's scariest pumpkin: 

Sunday, November 01, 2015

The first of November

This is, of course, the day after Hallowe'en. My kids are too old for trick or treating, but Stephen and I like to sit on the front porch and see all the kids go by, and some of our neighbours do get pretty fancy in their decorations. The weather was not bad; it didn't rain till after about 8:30, and we had run out of candy by then. (And we didn't get any influx of candy from the kids, either, so we are presently bereft.)

I do have one thing to show you: Arthur, back from university for a week, went out to play D&D and of course, needed a wizard's robe. One thing he likes is finding weird and wonderful secondhand shirts, so he got a bunch of them and fashioned a wizard's robe, complete with hood and big swoopy sleeves. (Do not call it a nightgown; he doesn't like that.)

There are some skulls for scariness, Obama looking wistfully off into the future, and a tuxedo front. One sleeve has the art from TRex's Electric Warrior (it pained me to see that cut up, but it was a size small) and the other is a Blackberry shirt which says Be Bold. I believe the hood had some inconsequential purple words on it.

It was fun to see him just go to the sewing machine and whip it up, cutting here and there and somehow making all the bits fit together.

I will try to blog every day this month. One down, 29 to go.