Archive for June, 2014

Very Special Socks

Wednesday, June 25th, 2014

How can you sum up four years of memories? I have decided to attempt this feat by knitting them into a pair of socks, to warm the feet and heart of a friend.

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I finished the socks in April, but have now given them a wash, and dried them on sock stretchers to help smooth the colourwork and make sure that they are large enough.

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They’re now all packaged up awaiting graduation night.

Psychedelic Mushrooms

Sunday, June 22nd, 2014

That’s the name of this colourway, from Spunky Eclectic’s fibre club. I’ve taken a few minutes here and there over the last few weeks to spin a bit and break up the monotony of marking.

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I plied two bobbins of singles together today. I love how this yarn shimmers. It’s half merino and half tencel (which adds lustre).

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Look at the variety of colours. I am not sure what this yarn wants to be yet.

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For now it is content to sit in the sunshine.

Taking Small Breaks

Saturday, June 21st, 2014

It’s a marking marathon this weekend. Exams, final projects, final marks and report cards are all due Monday. It is not fun to be cooped up on a lovely day, but I’m taking small breaks to enjoy the sunshine, to do some knitting, and to get started organizing all of my school papers.

My garden’s doing well

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My latest knitting project is an interesting one….I was asked by a rower to knit cuffs to be worn mid calf to protect from “slide bites”….I don’t know details, but it seems like an easy enough request to fill. I have complete creative freedom on this project, and so I’ve elected to use hot pink and teal, and to make them not match.

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These will be a grad present, so they’ve gotta be done by Thursday. I think I can manage that!

New Project On The Needles

Tuesday, June 10th, 2014

I started this mitten a while ago. I’m trying out a rather complex cable pattern that will be really cool when complete, but right now seems to be mostly purling, which is not my favourite, and it feels so awkward to purl in the round, since there is almost never the need to do it.

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I unfortunately have not been knitting much over the past 2 days since work is picking up, and I caught a nasty cold.

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You gotta love that the wrappers are full of inspirational messages…

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I’m working hard to get through this week; energy-zapping surprises seem to be around every corner.

Windmill socks complete

Sunday, June 8th, 2014

I finished up the second windmill sock much faster than I had expected. The pair took a week from the inspiration to the finishing touches.

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Since there are lots of colours used, there are lots of ends to sew in.

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Here they are! The stitches are puckering a bit due to the stranded colourwork, but should be easily smoothed out with a bit of a soak in the sink.

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I soaked the socks and have left them to dry hanging on my grandmother’s sock blockers.

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The stitches smoothed out nicely, just like I hoped. Now I am just hoping that there’s no rain tonight.

How does your garden grow?

Saturday, June 7th, 2014

It’s pretty exciting to see how fast my produce is growing now that the weather is good. My windbreaks are really doing their job protecting the tiny plants–it does get pretty breezy up here.
These are my radishes, they were the first sprouts of the season.

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Here are my carrots, getting their second set of leaves…so delicate! I planted short carrots in a tall planter, so hopefully that combination will work well.

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These are cherry tomato plants bought at the school plant sale. They survived their transplantation pretty well.

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The beans I planted appear not to be climbing plants…not yet at least.

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The peas are starting to climb already.

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I am trying lettuce for the first time, and it’s growing well. I look forward to snacking on this crop before too long.

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Something that I started last year was growing potato plants in buckets. This year I have some red potatoes starting as well as the white potatoes that are thriving!

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I’ll have to get more soil up here to start a few more planters. I think zucchini or pumpkin might be interesting to watch.

When you just need to feel productive

Thursday, June 5th, 2014

It seems like it’s hard to make progress these days….work seems to be taking steps backward as fast as forward, and I’m not in any position to make much change there.

With my work, progress is incremental, and the effort invested now will sometimes not be recognized or appreciated until years later.

So, I took some time out this evening to do something with visible results. Every minute invested will show in countable stitches….lots of them!

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Here’s the foot of a sock….sock number two! Measurable progress. Something that I can create and control, and a gift for someone who means a lot to me. A good choice of my evening energy.

Flying off the needles

Tuesday, June 3rd, 2014

Sock number one has flown off the needles! I did the final cast off tonight while watching the provincial leadership debates.

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I’m thrilled with how it’s turned out. I tried something different for the gusset and sole and I hope to knit the next sock soon enough to remember all the details.

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The windmills are a bit sneaky, they look like a random all-over pattern from far away, but from up close they’re definitely windmills.

Now I have to fight against second sock syndrome and make the matching sock before it’s too hot to think about wool.

Fighting the Windmills

Sunday, June 1st, 2014

I had a very special evening yesterday. I went to see a film made by a former student of mine, Nick Arnold. This young man has been an inspiration to me for a long time, as he is someone who had a dream to make movies, and has worked very hard for many years to make his dreams come true.

Nick uses the symbol of the windmill on all his movies as a reference to Don Quixote who thought windmills were giants and decided to fight them. Nick strives to do the impossible, to make dreams real and to inspire others to do the same….to fight the windmills, and tackle the challenges in life and to do what makes you truly happy and satisfied. It’s really refreshing to get a dose of his motivation from time to time.

I’ve been thinking a lot about the movie, “William’s Lullaby”, a dark and haunting story, and trying my best to reconcile that with the positive and inspiring young man who dreamt up the story while still in high school. While pondering, I have been knitting….socks for Nick, with windmills on them, so he can keep fighting all the giants out there.

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I had a great time last night, not only watching the movie, and spending a few minutes with Nick, but also celebrating with him the accomplishment of one of his many dreams. I look forward to what he’ll do next, and I’ll be there cheering him on along the way.