Saturday, September 23, 2017

Airdrie

It's amazing to me how much time and effort it takes to move when there are some issues involved:  first, trying to have the energy to unpack more than one box after a full day of work and, second, downsizing from a three bedroom townhouse with a full basement and a garage to a two-bedroom condo.  I'm so lucky to have family who are willing to come and help - but I prefer to sort and unpack my own yarn and books.  I'm getting a handle on the unpacking, finally, and ready to start blogging regularly again.

I'm in a new, to me, city:  Airdrie, Alberta.  According to Google, Airdrie is 17 miles north of Calgary.  It doesn't seem that far, and since I work in the north part of Calgary, I'm sure that the distance is shorter and that Google is measuring from the heart of Calgary..  I heard Airdrie described as a bedroom community.  My first impressions of the new city are very good and I'm sure that I'm going to like it here.  It's a good move.  It's named after Airdrie in Scotland, near Glasgow.


I've found three locations  where knitters meet, one is in a coffee shop just down the street from me.  I have yet to visit any of them (did I mention that I'm still unpacking?), but this week I plan to drop in on the Thursday evening gathering at the library.  I'll still continue to go and knit with the ladies at The Loop Kensington, but will switch to their Wednesday group so I can go to both.

Over the past few years I've been learning about more and more fiber-related activities that aren't two far away.  Tomorrow, I'm heading about 89 miles north to the city of Lacombe for the first, ever, Prairie Fiber Festival.


The weather is supposed to be good and I'm looking forward to the raod trip.  More on that, next time....!

Sunday, September 3, 2017

KCVI

I've been looking at photos posted on Facebook for my high school's 225th anniversary.  Everyone looked so young back then.  Can it really be that long (>45 years) since I graduated?  I clearly remember thinking that the high school years would never end!  ☺



Kingston Collegiate & Vocational Institute, Kingston, Ontario, Canada

Saturday, August 26, 2017

Blast From The Past

When my daughter was little in the 1980s I knit a lot of sweaters for her.  There was a design company which produced the cutest patterns under the name "Knit-o-Graf".  I think that the company had been around since the 1950s and I don't believe that it exists anymore.  

The patterns weren't expensive and I had many of them.  I knit for her and for her friends. There were pictures on the sweaters and it's where I developed my love of intarsia.  All were made in fingering weight yarn and I would mostly buy the acrylic yarns from Patons and the house brand at Eaton's ior Sears department stores.  There were lots of colors available and they held up well to washing and wearing.  A few years later I did a couple more sweaters using superwash wool and I have to admit that they didn't look as fresh as the acrylic ones after a while.  Acrylic has it's place in children's knitting, in my opinion.

If you Google the words Knit-o-Graf and look at images, you can see why I was so drawn to the designs.  There was Humpty Dumpty, ducks, trains, Little Red Riding Hood, cowboys, dogs and so much more.  I knit most of the designs that they had.  They even had a small catalog.

One of my favorites was a brightly colored cardigan with a clown holding balloons.  I made size 4.  Today I received a picture from my now-grown-up daughter.  It's showed my almost-2 year old granddaughter, Alyssa, wearing the clown sweater.  I'm still smiling at the photo.  Alyssa is adorable and the sweater looks cute on her and it keeps her warm during the family's camping trip.


The patterns were on one large sheet of paper in the size of the sweater.  You could lay your knitting on it and see if you matched the size for the design.  Great idea.  It was fun to pick out little matching buttons with balloons on them.


I'd love to know more about the company.  Who created it?  Who was the designer?  How long was it around?  

Monday, August 21, 2017

Eclipse

Did you see the eclipse today?  With safety glasses, I hope.  In Calgary there was about 90% coverage, it got dark as in the early evening and the temperature dropped quite a bit for a few minutes.

(c) G. Yamashita

I actually saw two eclipses today.  Here's the other one:


I wonder what records are pictured above ~
Dark Side of the Moon?
That Lucky Old Sun?  
Don't Let The Sun Catch You Crying?  
Moondance?  
I'll Follow The Sun?
Total Eclipse of the Heart?

I could go on.....  ☺

Sunday, August 20, 2017

July Socks Are Finished

I think I've become the world's slowest packer.  Moving and packing isn't fun, but I'm getting close to being ready for the movers on the 28th.  I can't wait to get to the new condo with the unpacking finished and then sit on the balcony and just knit without thinking that I should be doing something else.  I'm hoping that a knitting friend or two or three will join me.

I did manage to finish my July socks with the monthly yarn from The Loopy Ewe from 2016.  So far I've managed to keep up.  Who knows if I'll finish my August socks before the end of the month.  One sock is finished and the cuff of the second sock is done, so maybe I'll make my self-inflicted deadline.

Here is what the yarn looked like in the skein.  It's based on the colors found in the picture, "Vintage Bike."


THE DETAILS


Pattern:  Cast on 60 sts, 2x2 ribbing,
stocking stitch leg and foot,
short row heel, shaped toe.

Needles:  US #0 / 2.0 mm

Size:  Medium

Color exclusive to The Loopy Ewe:
"Summer Afternoon Escape"

Each month The Loopy Ewe offers an exclusive colorway.  This one is from July, 2016.

Ravelry Link:  Summer Afternoon Escape

More socks are coming up in the next few weeks, and then I'll be getting back to sweater knitting and more.  I'm also looking forward to a fairly local event coming up on September 24th, the Prairie Fiber Festival in Lacombe, Alberta.  You can find them on Ravelry, here.  The lineup of vendors looks very good and I'm looking forward to checking them out.  I'll blog about the Festival next month.  

Sunday, August 13, 2017

How I Spent My Summer Vacation - The Finale

 I'm glad you've come back to visit my blog, especially since it's been so long since I last wrote.  Working full time and preparing for a move is time consuming.  I found a condo that I like a lot and the closing is in a few days, moving is in two weeks.  My yarn is almost all packed up, which is the biggest part of the preparations.  If all goes as planned, it will be housed in my new yarn room/office/den/whatever, that I've named The Makkin Room.  It sounds like 'making' and is the word for knitting in the Shetland dialect.

For tonight, I'll round up my trip to Denver with pictures from the last concert that I went to.  For me, a concert at Red Rocks is the best possible venue to hear music - and the Doobie Brothers and Chicago put on great shows.  I had a wonderful seat, front row center, and got to meet the Doobie Brothers.  What a huge thrill for a fan like me.

So....here are a few shots from that night. First up, the Doobies.  I'll be back to writing about knitting again as soon as I can.

Tom Johnston

Patrick Simmons

John McFee

John Cowan (bass) & Ed Toth (drums)

Marc Russo

It was over too soon.

Chicago filled the night air with their big and brassy sound.

Ray Herrmann

James Pankow

Keith Howland
(love the turquoise shoes & shirt combo!)

Pankow (left), Herrmann and Lee Loughnane (right)

I hope to be back at Red Rocks again before too long.

Monday, July 24, 2017

Sock Monkeys

It's been a bit busy around here.  I've been shopping for a condo and have now found one that I like.  So, for the next while I'll be busy packing and cleaning and moving and generally getting settled in. All this has been in between days at work.  I'll blog when I can and will catch up once everything settles down.

While I was on vacation in Denver last month I knit two pairs of socks.  One pair was made from the monthly sock yarn (2016) from The Loopy Ewe, which I blogged about a while ago.  The other yarn is from a favorite dyer, Artistic Yarn by Abi.  Abi is very creative and her sock yarns are fun to knit. The yarn is a good quality and they have been holding up well. In the past I made watermelon striped socks, kiwi socks and a pair in Mardi Gras colors.  I have Bacon & Eggs yarn patiently waiting for its turn.  This time, the colors are those used in sock monkeys.

THE DETAILS


Pattern:  Generic.  
Cast on 60 sts., K2, P2 ribbing for 12 rounds, 
Stocking stitch leg for 75 rounds, Short row heel,
 Stocking stitch foot for 50 rounds, Shaped toe.

Needles:  
US #0 / 2.0 mm

Size:  
Medium

Yarn:  Sock Monkey Self-striping Sock Yarn
by Artistic Yarns by Abi 

Ravelry Link:  Sock Monkeys

Sunday, July 9, 2017

How I Spent My Summer Vacation - Part 2

The first few days of vacation where turning out better than I'd hoped.  On Sunday I had brunch with former co-workers from the University of Colorado Hospital at Mimi's.  I'd heard some great music, driven a fun car, met up with friends and knitted with a group at Wooden Spools.  But there was another surprise in store for me.  It's no secret that I love live music.  I've always had a mental list of groups that I'd like to see and hear.  Fortunately, the list is getting smaller as I've been lucky enough to see so many of my favorites at least once.

One of the bands that was still on my list is Boston.  I turned on my computer one morning and learned that Boston was playing that very night at Fiddler's Green.  A wonderful venue, by the way.  I was initially a bit disappointed as I felt quite sure that I wouldn't get a ticket on such short notice, but I was wrong.  I got a seat in the third row!


The show was fabulous and they played all their hits.  The crowd seemed to know every word.  The venue is outdoors and the weather was perfect.  I wouldn't hesitate to see them again.

I spent the rest of the week hanging out with friends, knitting, a bit of shopping and some sightseeing.

Whenever I'm in town I like to meet up with a small group of special friends - friends that I've known for over 15 years.  We meet at the Corner Bakery, get caught up and have a nice dinner.  This is always the highlight of any Denver trip.  I also met with another group at a favorite yarn shop, Colorful Yarns.  It is a feast for any knitter - lots and lots of temptations.  

The next day... Saturday, would be a trip to the Estes Park Wool Festival....

Tuesday, July 4, 2017

Suggestion for the Governments

Since the ties between Canada and the US are close and since our two holidays are within days of each other:  Canada Day on July 1st and Independence Day on July 4th, shouldn't we just have a week off to celebrate both countries?  Just an idea.


Happy July holidays, y'all, eh?  



If you're not in Canada or the US.... have a great day no matter what you're doing or where you are!

Monday, July 3, 2017

Packing For The Trip

Knitters know that the hardest part of preparing for a trip is packing their knitting.  Clothes are easy, an clean outfit for each day.  Cosmetics and toiletries:  as long as you have your toothbrush and comb, everything else is a bonus.  Prescription. ID. Credit cards.  Check✔, check ✔ and check.  ✔


Now knitting is harder.  There is lots to think about.

1.  How many projects do I need to take?  For me, I would gone for 16 days so I packed:  yarn for at least 4 pairs of socks, two sweaters in progress, a cap that needed a tassel, yarn for swatching for a new sweater project and yarn for a class I was going to take.  That seemed about right.

2.  Patterns?  Yes, for everything except the socks (will use my standard sock "recipe", which is memorized) and the cap that needed a tassel.  Now, packing books can be heavy, especially since I  wanted to save room for any souvenirs/new yarn that might beg to come home with me.  So... time was needed to download patterns or make photocopies.  Downloading can take a particularly long time, especially since I saved one of the patterns on Ravelry.  One does not just pop into Ravelry for a minute.  There are always new projects and patterns than must be looked at - and it would be rude not to see what your friends have been knitting.  I wanted to leave a bit of time, too, to check out discussions on my favorite groups.  Gathering patterns could easily take several hours, if not days.  I also wanted to pack a pattern or two for something I might want to make in the future, just in case I saw the ideal yarn and had to have it.

3.  Gadgets?  A knitter cannot work without an assortment of gadgets, everything from stitch markers, tape measures, pins, scissors, stitch holders, etc.  The clever among us have their gadgets
already housed in a cute little bag.  I've tried that several times, but then, I need something from the bag and somehow it doesn't always make it's way back into the cute bag.  It can take at least an hour to go over the gadgets in my mind.  I had to "mind knit" the pattern - reading it over slowly and carefully and thinking what I might need to make the process easier.  Do I need one stitch marker or several?  Can they all be the same color or do I need some that are distinctive from the others?  I'll need a tape measure - is it long enough, it is metric?  I'd better pack a needle sizer, just in case.  If I get far enough along on one of my projects I'll likely need a tapestry needle to weave in the ends or to work the Kitchener stitch.  Should it be sharp or blunt?  How big a needle will I need?   Is one enough?

4.  What needles should I bring?  For my sock projects I was all set.  I know that I'll need 4 US size 0/2.0 mm needles.  But, what if I break one?  Or get the urge to start another sock before the first one is finished.  I'd better pack extras.  My sweaters were in progress so they were already on the needles.  I'd better check the pattern to see if the needle size changes somewhere.  I was planning to swatch for a new project - more needles, but what sizes?  I'd better pack extra sizes and lengths.  Along with the needles, I had to make sure they are protected from bending or breaking.  How to do that?  I'd better pack needle protectors (so the stitches don't fall off the end) and a needle holder of some kind.  Will I pack my needles in my checked bag or can I carry them onto the plane?  Something to think about.

As you can see, packing knitting is the hardest part of all.  Forget the fact that there are more than 20 good yarn stores in the Denver area if I "needed" anything.  There was also the fact that I was going to the Wool Festival in Estes Park with at least 50 vendors.

How did I make out?  I finished 2-1/2 pairs of socks.  Bought some yarn.  Didn't work on the sweaters.  Didn't swatch for another sweater.  Didn't make a tassel.  But I never ran out of anything, although I did shop - and I had a very good time.

Here's one pair of socks that did get finished:


THE DETAILS

Pattern:  Cast on 60 sts, 2x2 ribbing,
stocking stitch leg and foot,
short row heel, shaped toe.

Needles:  US #0 / 2.0 mm

Size:  Medium

Color exclusive to The Loopy Ewe:
"Lake Dillon"

Each month The Loopy Ewe offers an exclusive colorway.  This one is from June, 2016.

Ravelry Link:  Lake Dillon