Wednesday, January 30, 2008

We lost our dear Norah on Monday, January 28 at 11:00 p.m.
She was surrounded by her family who love her.

Norah Lorraine Walker
June 3, 1955 - January 28, 2008

Norah was the most devoted wife to Dave, mother to Andrea and Elizabeth, grandmother to Ember-Rae and Ash, and she was my sister in-law. She was passionate, competitive, loved to cook and play cards, and she volunteered her time whenever she could at the local hospital. Many holidays were spent together with our extended family either playing cards, bocce, listening to music, taking long walks, and talking into the wee hours around the campfire at our family farm. This above picture was taken on an Alaskan cruise in August 2006. It was a trip we'll remember for the rest of our lives and we're so appreciative to my husbands parents who planned the whole holiday.

Norah passed far to early in her life from breast cancer. She fought courageously for several years. We love you Norah.

Thursday, January 24, 2008

I've had a revelation since reading Yarn Harlot's post today......My husband should be posting on this blog. Over the last couple of days he's been having a run of bad luck with things happening to him.....not serious things, but things that either piss you off or make you laugh. I'm from the school, it's better to be pissed off than pissed on, life is too short.

This past Saturday 01/19 was a good day. It was my MIL's (mother in-law) and Aunt by marriage combined 75th birthday parties. The weather was kind of dicey and the party was out of town which required piling six adults, with bulky winter coats, into a Ford Explorer. The phrase 'packed like sardines' comes to mind. My DH had been feeling the beginning of a cold coming on, but he was appointed designated driver. That part was okay, but the roads were not the greatest, and in the back we packed along a big crockpot of Buttered Chicken as our contribution to the potluck supper. I should have been more alert knowing DH was feeling under the weather, and driving for an hour and a half on highways covered in black ice, he was tired. So it was no surprise when he told me that he'd knocked over the bouquet of flowers spilling water. No biggy, got some towels, cleaned it all up. A little while later it was time for the potluck. Unfortunately DH had probably gone into some kind of brainfog with all the visiting, and not feeling too well, and hungry, and he went out to get the crockpot full of Buttered Chicken.......

I continued on visiting, and about 20 minutes later my DS came in saying Dad's swearing up a storm outside. wtf? Now I'm okay with Dale swearing, but I was a little worried about who was hearing all of this vocabulary. I started for the front door of the hall and I was catching bits of info, 'He fell, landed on the sidewalk, they're cleaning it up.' I knew it couldn't be good. The planets were not lined up that day for people to be sampling Buttered Chicken. It's funny now, but when you see it splattered on the snow covered concrete all I could think of was it looked like someone had gotten violently ill. It doesn't look too appetizing splayed out like that, and I was kind of glad that none of it was left and no one had to sample it. DH was totally gutted that he'd tripped and fallen, but he'd tried valiantly to save it, and in the process banged up his thumb, and wrecked his knee, and bruised his feelings in the fall. Anyway we got it all cleaned up, and continued on with the night, and as usual there was more than enough food.

I wonder if my DH would enjoy the theraputic benefits of knitting after a day like he had?...Not.

It's amazing when talking with other knitters, or reading on the blogs, we all seem to experience the same peace and enjoyment that knitting, crochetting, or whatever brings to us.

So on to my newest obsession.......
I was wanting to think up some cutesy name for this colour....I started with Paprika, but now after carding it it's looking more peachy. It was a mystery roving special from Wool2Dye4 and it turned out to be a great learning fibre. It took the dye great, and it's been wonderful to spin up.

I've been enjoying spinning so much my neck is sore. I feel like I'm relaxed but I'm concentrating so hard that I probably don't realize I'm tensing up. This is a single ply right now of the Paprika......

This is the
finished 2 ply yarn colourway: Raisin. I first KoolAid dyed the roving, then carded, then spun up. Fun, fun, fun.......I have to figure out what my meterage is before deciding what I'm going to do with it.

It was a good day to stay inside though. Our temperature high today was -20C with blowing snow............

Tuesday, January 15, 2008

Update..... I've been keeping busy with my latest indulgence of hand dyeing fiber, it's unfortunately taken time away from the knitting..... I went through a bit of startitis awhile back, but I've managed to keep it in check. I thought I'd post some pic's showing some of the little progress I've been making.

Sugarplum Shrug, Interweave Knits Christmas Gifts 2007.
This is the body of the shrug. I have yet to complete the edging fo
r the cuffs and around the body.

Flared Smoke Ring
Loving this pattern. Jackie E-S is the designer from the website Heart Strings Fiber Arts. She has some lovely lace patterns.

My version of a Chevron Scarf using Lorna's Laces. I found the stitch pattern in Interweave Knits book, Scarf Style. I alternated between the colours Vera and Bittersweet.

I have to post some pics of the stash I got for Christmas this year. I put such effort into reminding my dear family that I would Love any yarn from Knitpicks. It's easy shopping online, and they're products are top notch.

Sock yarn from Knit Picks.
-Gloss, 70%Merino Wool 30%Silk, Colourway: Pumpkin.
-Essential, 75%Superwash Wool, 25%Nylon, Colourways: Terrain Twist, Tucson Multi, and Inca Gold Tweed.
-Felici, 75%Superwash Merino, 25%Nylon, Colourway: Clay.
-Risata, 42%Cotton, 39%Superwash Wool, 13%Polyamide, 6%Elite, Colourway: Burgundy.

Knitpicks Nickel-Plated 6" dpn's 2.25mm, and 2.00mm

Knitpicks Harmony Wood 6" dpn's 2.25mm, and 2.00mm

I can't stop gushing over the Harmony Wood Fixed Circular Knitting Needles. Love'em! So I'm looking forward to seeing how the dpn's feel with their sock yarn.

Coming up next....more pictures on the carding and spinning I've been having fun with...and as always the temptation to nap is overwhelming when you see such peaceful bliss.
Therapy..... I don't know if it's the weather, but I've been doing some spring cleaning. I haven't had a purging session for quite a while, and it sure felt good. I've had this tall dangling silk tree for approx 15 years whose branches would never stay in the main trunk. I would be vacuuming and it never would fail, just by bumping it it would drop branches. So it was very theraputic ripping it apart and putting it outside in the bin.

More therapy......

I bought some mystery fiber from Wool2dye4. Sheila doesn't carry this on a regular basis, but from her blog she's hoping to be able to in the future. It was selling for $10 per lb, and I thought it's worth the price to get for practice spinning. When it arrived it looked and felt great. Of course it didn't end there..... I saw an article on about Koolaid dyeing. I was hooked. I like the fact that it's non-toxic and I don't need to designate any special pots for the dyeing process so I kept on researching, and these are some of my results....

My dyeing pots. An old canner, and stainless steel bowls.

In a stainless steel pot cooling down.

My drying technique....hanging the dyed rovings on a plastic hanger.

Some pictures of the completely dried rovings. The colours stayed pretty consistent.

I still haven't spun any of this up yet. It's been dyed, and rinsed, and then hung to dry. The dyed fiber doesn't have the same feel as the undyed stuff. It's feeling sort of stiff it's like it's lost it's 'loft' through the dyeing process. All of the resources on Koolaid dyeing mentioned to be careful of felting the fiber. As a beginner I was a little afraid that I might do so. As it turns out I can still pull it apart and fluff it up, but not enough to spin from it properly. So I'm going to have to handcard it before spinning. I don't have handcard's :( but I found out my mother-in-law does! They're in the process of moving back to Alberta, and I discovered that the handcard's are packed in amongst many boxes in a farm shed .....

So..... patience is not one of my virtues. This meant more online comparison shopping and I came up with a pretty good price on a set of handcard's at Paradise Fibers. They're presently in the mail so I'm going to have to wait to spin up this newly dyed fiber. It's been an interesting process, one that has made me appreciate all the effort that's put into the luscious handpainted roving and yarn that's sold online and in local yarn stops.