Tag Archives: shawl

Effecting Change – Part 2

I recently celebrated a birthday but the changes that came with it are greater than those that simply come with age.  Two weeks ago, we sold our house. We weren’t ready for the move and it took it’s toll on us. Selling up and starting over was the only feasible plan. To add to the changes,  BB and I are separating and as I write this, I’m halfway towards my new life.  It’s not the life I would have chosen, at least not on my own, but it’s the life I’m going to have, so I’m dealing with it. I’m moving back to the town where I was born and raised and where the majority of my family still lives. It’s extremely hard but I know it’s not impossible. I hope it’s not impossible.

We packed the truck up on Wednesday and pulled out of Kelowna Thursday morning. BB is driving my moving van and towing my car behind; I’m riding shotgun, as usual (you don’t just walk away from each other after all this time, you pull away gently – but with all your stuff).

We made a quick stop in Banff where we had a private memorial service for our Skyler. It was very difficult being on the golf course, surrounded by memories.  When Skyler died, we were 3 days from moving to Kelowna and there was no time for me to grieve the places we’d shared – even if I was capable. I got to do that yesterday to some extent but it became obvious to me that the process is far from over.  We laid his memory to rest in one of his favourite spots, the ‘beach’ off the golf course where the Bow and Spray Rivers meet.


We spent the night in Canmore and it was lovely to see the Three Sisters again. And to know that the bunnies are still running rampant.

Day 1 knitting involved sock repair.  The sole of the foot had blown out and a simple darning wasn’t going to work. Reknitting up to the toe was quicker than I imagined.


Next stop: Regina, SK


Down but not Out

It was only a matter of time, I suppose.  Everywhere I go, there is someone coughing, sniffling, sneezing.  Mostly cold germs, a few flu bugs, but I’ve stood strong and fought them all off.  Until now.  BB came down with the beginnings of a cold 2 days ago.  He probably picked it up in the hospital (more on that later).  I woke up early this morning  with my throat on fire.  Here we go.  To top it all off, we got a few inches of snow overnight.  Luckily, it wasn’t heavy wet snow.  Shovelling the driveway this morning worked up a sweat.  I’m told that’s good for a cold.  Or is that a fever?

Socks and mitts for the Canadian War Museum exhibit went out a couple of weeks ago. I fell deeply in love with the finished mitts.


The yarn was wonderful to work with and so very warm. Much as I’ll miss them, I’m happy to let them go to someone who’ll need them more than I.

I had cast on a wee shawl back in September but hadn’t got past the stockinette start. Once i figured out where I’d left off, it practically knit itself. Here’s the beginning; it’s been off the needles for a number of days but hasn’t been blocked yet.  You’ll need to bear with me before you can see what it really looks like.



(Live Oak Shawlette by Romi Hill, in Cascade Yarns Heritage Silk Paints, Forest Glen)

BB had knee replacement surgery last weekend, which is why he was in hospital (getting sick, obviously).  He’s recovering well but starting to get a little stir-crazy, I think.  Only 9-11 more weeks of recovery and rehab!  And me? Well, I’ve been working and knitting and fetching what can’t be carried while one is operating a walker. And knitting some more.

There’s been a lovely skein of Anzula Cricket in my stash, waiting for the perfect time to evolve.  I won it a while back from Grace Akhrem, designer extraordinaire, and loved it so much I couldn’t use it (this may only make sense to a knitter; the rest of you may disregard).  Until earlier this week.  Now, I’m wearing it (or a portion of it) on my hands.


(Swirling Gauntlets by Susanna IC, in Anzula Cricket, Grace)

The original (free!) pattern is thumbless and a completely naked thumb always makes me feel awkward, so I covered it up.  It was just a matter of picking up the cast off/on stitches and knitting up a little 1×1 rib. I only used about 40 g of yarn for these so I’m thinking of eventually making another pair of fingerless gloves with the rest.

But first, it’s been a while since I’ve knit a pair of socks just for me and there’s a skein of Raventwist Tyr calling to me from the back of the sock yarn cupboard.  I’ll have to dig it out and ask it what it wants to be.  I’m thinking something ‘fancy’, and just hoping I’m not too sick to concentrate on charts.  I’ll let you know.







A lack of blog posts can mean the blogger has nothing interesting to say or it can mean that there is much to say but no time to get it in writing.  That last bit, that’s been me for the … Continue reading

It’s All a Mystery to Me

September 11, 2001

The TV was on downstairs but I was upstairs dusting and fussing.  I was pretty sure 9 am had passed but I couldn’t hear the bleeping and yelling that let me know Breakfast Television was over and Maury had started.  That’s normally when I stopped whatever I was doing and quickly changed the channel.  Really hate all that bleeping.  The quiet coming from downstairs was what prompted me to take a look.   The TV screen showed what appeared to be a plane crashing into a building.  Seemed an unusual time of day for CityTV to be airing a movie.  Then Gord Martineau was talking about New York and a plane crash and no one, at that point, really knew what was going on.  It still took some moments to recognize that whatever was happening was real.  Was happening in those moments.  Was bad.  Very, very bad.  In the hours and days to come, we found out how truly bad, how truly awful, and how truly frightening.  I finally understood the root of the word “terrorist”.

Like many of you, I was glued to CNN for days – too many days.  I finally broke for Oprah.  Even she said we needed to take a break from the watching; we knew it wasn’t doing us any good.  There was little or no real effect, at the time, for me or my family or my neighbours, but it was horrifying, and perhaps more accurately, stunning, all the same.  And what was telling, for me, was the silence in the sky.  At the time, we lived in a flight path to/from Pearson International Airport.  And by mid-afternoon there were no more planes.  I hadn’t really noticed the sounds and sights of airplanes for some time, but I certainly noticed when they were missing.  When, much later in time, I heard the first plane fly overhead, it was like taking a breath.  I felt like I’d been holding my breath the whole time, and waiting.  It was a release.  And a relief.  I well remember that time.  I’ve never really understood it, but I remember it.

Where were you?  What do you remember?  I’d love to hear.


I’m working on a couple of things simultaneously.  Okay, I’m working on a LOT of things simultaneously, but only 2 of them involve knitting. The first is a test knit for Qianer Huang of HiyaHiya.  I’m now halfway through the second HiyaHiya Wave Lace Sock but, as it’s a mystery knit, here’s all I’m going to show you. I love the cabled heel!

You may remember that the Boo Knits shawl I started earlier this Spring just about killed me.  I loved the pattern (Fragile Heart) and loved the yarn, but the knitting was making me senseless (see here if you need reminding).  I did finally finish it and loved it all the more for being done – all lacy, and beady, and light, and yet shockingly warm.

Here’s a (bit) better view of the lace and beads.  My thanks to Melodie for modelling.

In all truth, Chia Goo lace needles saved my sanity, enough so, that I’ve started another Boo Knits shawl (it really wasn’t the fault of the pattern; the needles I was using were the ones to blame).  Out of Darkness is a mystery KAL and to preserve my sanity even further, I’ve opted out of lace weight and am using fingering weight yarn instead. There are beads in the new shawl as well, though I’ve changed their layout.  I couldn’t get enough beads to do the whole thing up properly so I’m left to use them judiciously.  I still foresee a Calgary-wide hunt for more at Michael’s, but let’s hope I can make do.


It’s snowing like mad out there but that’s okay.  I was tired of the rain anyways. No, this is not an old post you’re reading.  It is June 9, 2012 and it’s been snowing hard enough and for long enough … Continue reading

Thou Shawl Not Knit

Something happened yesterday and I didn’t finish my shawl in time for the end of MadMay 2012.   I didn’t drop a stitch but I think I knit more together than I was supposed to.  All I know is that I was short a couple (a few?) stitches on a 12-stitch repeat.  I looked at it over and over again, from different directions, in different light and I couldn’t for the life of me figure out what I’d done wrong.  And no, I wasn’t using a lifeline.  Why would I need a lifeline?  I was only working on some 240 stitches (and more with each row).  I finally realized that tears were only blurring my vision, making it harder to see where the yarn had turned on me. It happens, you know.  You’re knitting along without a care in the world and bang, the yarn has decided to do something else.  Something that has nothing to do with your shawl/sock/scarf.

The only thing left to do was tink (for those who don’t know, “tink” is “knit” spelled backwards and it means to unknit – one stitch at a time).  I had to go back 156 stitches one way, and then 156 again the other way.  Halfway through, I hit a wall.  I couldn’t look at another stitch.  Could not.  I got in the car and drove to Canmore.  You’re thinking I went to Knit and Caboodle  for yarn therapy or a shoulder to cry on, but that wasn’t it.   I needed something from Kitchen Boutique, something I’ve had my eye on since I started working there.

Epicurean Pizza Cutter

A pizza cutter.

Yes, I have one of those rotary ones and it works just fine at cutting.  But I got tired of having the pizza slip around the cutting board.  I don’t have that problem anymore.  While I was at it, I bought a cook-it-yourself fresh pizza too.  Time saved cooking dinner was used on the shawl.  It was a good call.

I had every intention of picking up the shawl this morning but then this appeared.

It’s not what you think.  It’s all very innocent, really.  I got to thinking about Ravelympics 2012.  Ravelympics is a Ravelry group whose antics projects coincide with the Summer Olympics.  The idea is to challenge ourselves with new techniques or project types and start and finish one or more of these projects during the Olympics. I’m really counting on the “finish” part this time, but my record has recently been sullied.

I’m on a team (Team SYR2) and have been trying to decide what events I want to participate in and what patterns I want to use.  You know I love knitting socks but I always start them from the cuff down.  I’ve been meaning to try toe-up for some time, but I’ve managed to find an excuse not to at every turn.  I’ve decided that will be my Ravelympics challenge.

Sifting through patterns on Ravelry led me to a tutorial for Judy’s Magic Cast-on.  I was sitting there, assorted knitting needles next to me, as well as a couple of skeins of yarn, so what the heck.  It took a couple of tries but I think I got the hang of it.  Figured while I was at it, I may as well find out what my gauge is with this yarn that I have plans for (Noro Taiyo Sock – plans are a secret for now).  See.  Totally innocent.

Now back to my shawl.

PS  I lost a little time this morning after someone (I won’t mention any names, Tricia) led me to a link for “The Sock Report”, a new emag dedicated to sock yarn.  You can ooh and aah over it here.  It’s gorgeous.  You’ll love it.  You can thank me (and Tricia) later.

MadMay 2012

I realized on Friday that I had 7 days to complete a shawl I’ve been working on haphazardly all month.  First I had to finish BB’s socks.  Then I really felt I needed those fingerless gloves I finished last week. And since it’s gotten even cooler, if that’s possible, I started thinking light mittens might be the order of the day.  That’s when I realized I only had one week to complete the shawl.  Now I only have a couple of days and I’ve hardly had a chance to work on it.

You see, it’s Mad May in the Madelinetosh Lovers group on Ravelry.  There are contests, and KALs (knit-alongs) and CALs (crochet-alongs) and there are prizes.  There have been special savings on gorgeous patterns from the designers and there is, of course, the yarn.  Everyone loves Madelinetosh!

I got swept up.  I bought the most beautiful shawl pattern from Boo Knits, called Fragile Heart.

“Fragile Heart” from Boo Knits

Knit and Caboodle  had the yarn I wanted, Madelinetosh Lace in Fig

I was so excited to start!  Never mind that I’d never knit with lace weight before.  Never mind that the pattern called for knitting in hundreds of beads – something else I’ve never done.  I was making this shawl!

The shawl is cast on with a tab and for the life of me, I couldn’t do it. I tried more than a dozen times. No luck. I couldn’t see the stitches. Knitting with lace weight yarn is like knitting with sewing thread, only softer. I wasn’t about to be beat by a cast-on. Someone very wise once said, “There are no knitting police” so I made my own way. I cast on a few stitches and made a couple of increases to get the proper number to start with. I did leave a long enough tail that I can go back and reinforce those first stitches if needed. That was the only hard part – so far. Even the beading hasn’t proved very difficult, tho’ 2 more hands would be helpful.

And here I am, after the weekend, having only completed 4 more rows. I could start the lace border right now and surely finish up in time but I really want a bigger shawl than that. That means at least one repeat of the 16-row lace section I’ve just finished. I’d feel more confident about finishing if I could just call in sick to work these next couple of days, but I might have to settle for finishing after the deadline. That would make me ineligible for the final prize, but seeing as I’ve already won a prize in this contest, I think I could live with the disappointment.

A post of my progress was randomly selected for a surprise prize last week.  The prize was a pattern from Boo Knits.  Here’s what I chose.

“Quite Continental” from Boo Knits

I think I have the perfect yarn for it, something I’ve been saving for a special gift, but first, to finish my Fragile Fig.  Maybe I can get a couple of rows done before work.