Thursday, August 29, 2013

Thursdays Are For Knit Group

Nothing says back to routine like a Thursday afternoon at knit group.  For all my recent mentioning of 'routine' I probably give the  impression that I live a mundane, same-old,  same-old life.  And by some standards, I most surely do.    But I like my little schedule and look forward to the special activity that each day brings.  Especially Thursdays and knit group. And doubly especially my first day back from summer vacation.

Sandy B had sent me an email earlier this summer, to tell  me about her broken arm.  But I was shocked to see the extensive cast she must wear for 6 weeks.  That cast is on the arm and around the body.

Not to mention the scar from the surgery.
Yikes, Sandy.  Sandy describes it as an 'old lady's fall' - heading to the bathroom in the middle of the night.  Although she did say there was red wine involved.  That makes it all right then.  A young woman's fall.

Isn't this a cute child's sweater?
Great buttons too.  Someone in Gail's family is going to be 'happy happy happy'.

Ingrid has a scarf with novelty yarn on her needles.  One of those yarns that make knitting awkward.  At one point she declared " I hate my knitting."

But showing it to us seemed to lighten her mood.

Wilma finished up a tunic 'dress' for  grand daughter #1 today. Knit in Sirdar Crofter,  a lovely lightweight and washable yarn.  So cute.

But there are two grand daughters  so Wilma intends  to knit a second dress.  In a different colour. That's the reason for all the swatches.  What colour should the next one be?  Jean helps with the though process.

A great afternoon.  Back to routine.  I love it.

Wednesday, August 28, 2013

Trailer Knitting

Summer 2013.  There was knitting.  Not much, which I cannot understand.  With the cool wet weather we had one would think I had more time for knitting.  But it doesn't seem so.  Maybe it was the hours I spent playing Abi's latest card game - Speed.  It involves the lightning speed of slapping your cards down on the table to great guffaws of laughter. She won most often as her hands move faster than mine.

Anyway - the knitting.  First up, I finished the little sweater for the baby that is going to make me a great aunt.
The pattern is  Ring Master  from  Cabin Fever and  I knit it primarily with Cabin Fever
 Cotton Tweed.   The yarn in the fair isle section is stash stuff.  This sweater has been delivered and declared 'so cute'.

Then I knit a shawl.
 Called Judy's Ruffled Shawlette, it is another Cabin Fever pattern.  This one knit with Wellington Fibres Mohair.  I was a bit shy of yarn for  a complete pattern.  No rules on shawl depth though so it looks fine.  I gave it to my trailer neighbour who is my early morning walking partner.  With a big grin, she wrapped it around her shoulders immediately so it appeared to be a hit.

I also knit a 6 foot Entrelac scarf. 

When I spotted the Sock It To Me yarn with it's long colour stretches at Hearst's finest yarn store - Ruby's Tool/Wool Napa Auto Parts Store - I knew immediately it would be perfect for an Entrelac project.  And it is. The scarf used just one 100 g ball.  Can't beat the price at  $9.99 a ball.

Then there was a rainy day drive to Hearst's neighbouring town, Kapuskasing .  There I discovered a yarn and quilting store.   Imagine:)   I left the quilting side to the other customers and headed for the yarn. I picked up one  100 G ball of Patons Lace with sequins.  At some point in time I had scribbled down an idea for a scarf with a ruffle on each long side.  Cast on 800 sts.  Knit 12 rows.  Decrease to 400 sts.  Knit 12 rows.  Decrease to 200 sts. Knit 12 rows and repeat in reverse.  But I was not at all sure my one ball would go that far.  Instead, I put only 4 rows between decreases.  Once I got down to 200 sts, I simply knit every row until I ran out of yarn.  I have a scarf with a ruffle on one side. 
It's asymmetrical-ness only appeals to some - but I like it.

And that is it!  All the knitting I accomplished in the summer of 2013.  Shocking.

Tuesday, August 27, 2013

The Land Of Plenty.

We are  lucky to live in an area of great farm land that provides plenty of produce this time of year.  This   morning we woke before dawn to make  an early trip to the weekly farmer's market.  I needed canning supplies.

I purchased half a bushel of plum tomatoes for pasta sauce
3/4 bushel of regular beefsteak tomatoes for chili sauce and salsa
dill, beans and cukes  for pickled beans and dill pickles
plus all the extras - jalapeno peppers, red peppers, green peppers, garlic, onions, celery etc  etc etc.

Here you see my sweet pickles on day 8 of their 12 day process. 
They have just been rinsed so as not to disgust you.  After 8 days in salt water, they look pretty gross. I have a friend who calls them 'scummy' pickles because of the gross scumminess of the 8 day old water.  Another who calls them 'bug' pickles because her batch last year attracted fruit flies - a little meat with her pickles.  Home canning!

I am reminded of a childhood rhyme

A canner exceedingly canny
One morning remarked  to his Granny
"A canner can can
Anything a canner can can
But a canner can't can a can, can he?"

May your day involve 'plenty'.


Monday, August 26, 2013

Summer's End

Summer 2013 was a wash.  Literally.  Hearst saw  days on end of rain - some days set rainfall records.  We swam less often, boated less often, stuck our heads out the door less often.

And so  --   we came home early.  Back to routine by mid-August, I expected.  But my laptop apparently didn't like the ride home as it died somewhere between here and there.    Home we were, but routine would have to wait until the computer got fixed. In the meantime, we took a little trip.

We did the Southern Ontario circuit, visiting all the people we had not seen over the summer.  We went to see Dad, a BIL celebrating his 65th and long time friends.  And on the way there were yarn stores. Unplanned stops, but as the meandering drive took us into certain towns,  I had some 'HEY' moments.  Hey.  St.Thomas.  This is where  The Little Red Mitten shop is. 

The Little Red Mitten in St. Thomas is a store that opened shortly after we left nearby London to retire in Thornbury.  I hear lots about it from friends who still live in the area and follow  it's story on the 'net'.  Until last week, I had never been in.  What a great store.

A lovely inviting entrance and if yarn shopping isn't touristy enough for you, the shop is located across the street from St.Thomas' other claim to fame - the statue of Jumbo The Elephant.

The shop is just lovely.  Big, neat and  clean. When I yarn shop as a tourist, I always like to buy something that will remind me of my trip.  Joan, the shop's owner, had just the thing.  One of a kind, in-store, shawl patterns she calls Talbot Trail Shawls.
 And yarn  dyed especially for the shop by not-far-away Zen Gardens.
This colourway is called Springwater Conservation, named after a local picnic spot.  Zen Gardens, from Sarnia area, came to St. Thomas, took the picture then dyed the yarn to match the picture, exclusively for Little Red Mitten.  Local pattern.  Local yarn.  What  a good, touristy purchase. 

 One shawl is nice but two - especially with this Berrocco sparkle yarn - well, how good is that?

The next day, the 'HEY' moment came as we drove up Hwy 23.  Accustomed to taking a short cut to bypass the town of Listowel,  I said "Hey, if we don't take the shortcut, we can go through Listowel where Sprinrite is having their annual tent sale."
There I practised great restraint and purchased only enough yarn for one sweater.
This is Paton's Classic Wool prepared especially for the sale in big  (400 g)  balls.  At $12 per ball,  the price was sure right. My plan for this is a pattern I purchased last spring from Riverside Yarns in Owen Sound.

 A simple sweater with the only detail being on the collar.   Most likely a machine knitting project. 

Summer,  all our driving, all our  family visits - all  done.  My computer repaired.  Regular blogging statrted today.  Back to routine.  Summer is over.


Saturday, August 10, 2013

Trailer Friends

 We live in two different worlds, Fred and I.  At home, there is one set of friends, but here at the trailer, we hang out with different folks.

Here is my early-morning walking partner – our next door trailer mate – and her hubby off for some ‘four-wheeling’ fun.

Four wheeling is a  much loved way to spend leisure time  here in the north. Fred and I are the odd couple out.  We do not own a four wheeler (except for our van, which I point out to the Grand kids,  has four wheels) and are not even the least interested in trying out this ‘sport’.  Makes us party poopers  in this neck of the Canadian woods.

Ducks abound here on the lake and this tribe has been eating the fall out from  the neighbours bird feeder.  Cute -  as long as they remember the bathroom facility is not on our lawn.

And lastly, I show you Canada’s most beautiful and best dressed, newly-licensed boat driver. 

 After 3 days of studying the book and  answering Grandpa’s quiz questions, a 3 hour, online exam, and a  4 week wait, Miss Abi  is officially licensed to drive a boat.   

Soon, though we leave this set of friends behind and head for home.