Tag Archives: knitting

The End of Summer Tally

28 Aug

Teachers in my district go back to work tomorrow. I’ve essentially been back for most of the last two weeks, but tomorrow is the real deal. It makes today bittersweet. It has been a productive summer.

I rehomed 1 dog.

I knit 1 pair of socks and 4 shawls.

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And, I read or listened to 44 books. Here is the list.

  1. Half Lost by Sally Green
  2. Somewhere Among by Annie Donwerth-Chikamatsu
  3.  Flawed by Cecilia Ahern
  4. Highly Illogical Behavior by John Corey Whalen
  5. Saving Montgomery Sole by Mariko Tamaki
  6. The Girl in the Blue Coat  by Monica Hesse
  7. Whisper to Me  by Nick Lake
  8. Save Me a Seat  by Sarah Weeks and its Naradarajan
  9. Ruined by Amy Tintera
  10. Some Kind of Courage by Dan Gemeinhart
  11. Sea Change  by Frank Viva
  12. An Armadillo in New York by Julie Kraulis
  13. The Seventh Wish by Kate Messner
  14. Some Kind of Happiness  by Claire Legrand
  15. Wishing Day  Laura Myracle
  16. Us  by David Nicholls
  17. Compass South  by Hope Larson
  18. Summerlost by Ally Condie
  19. Princeless by Jeremy Whitley
  20. The Bad-Ass Librarians of Timbuktu by Joshua Hamma
  21. Prudence by Gail Carriger
  22. A Hero of France by Alan Furst
  23. The Crown’s Game  by Evelyn Skye
  24. Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets by J. K. Rowling
  25. Outrun the Moon by Stacy Lee
  26. In the Footsteps of Crazy Horse by Joseph Marshall III
  27. Imperium by Robert Harris
  28. Faith  by Jody Houser
  29. Gena/Finn  by Hannah Moskowitz and Kat Helgeson
  30. Rocks Fall Everyone Dies by Lindsey Ribar
  31. Grumpy Pants by Claire Messer
  32. The Boy at the Top of the Mountain by John Boyne
  33. Far From Fair by Elana K. Arnold
  34. The Summer Before the War by Helen Simonson
  35. Every Single Second by Tricia Springstubb
  36. Arabella of Mars by David D. Levine
  37. Paper Girls vol. 1 by Brian K. Vaughan
  38. The Year of Lear by James Shapiro
  39. Julia Vanishes  by Catherine Egan
  40. Plumdog  by Emma Chichester Clark
  41. Love is My Favorite Thing by Emma Chichester Clark
  42. Changeless by Gail Carriger
  43. Lucky Strikes  by Louis Bayard
  44. I’ll Be There  by Holly Goldberg Sloan

I’m currently knitting convertible gloves. I’ve finished one, but won’t get the second finished before tomorrow. I’m currently reading All Rise for the Honorable Perry T. Cook by Leslie Connor.

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I won’t finish it before tomorrow, either.

 

 

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The thrill of victory…

7 Aug

…the agony of defeat.

Growing up, many a Saturday was spent watching Wide World of Sports. Its opening became  an iconic sports meme for me long before the Internet was flooded with them.

I’ve been thinking about this intro as the Olympics begin.

There are lots of ways spectators can participate without flying to Rio. Knitters can join the Ravellinic Games on Ravelry, where there is only one rule:

The One Rule To Rule Them All: Challenge yourself by starting and finishing one or more projects during the 2016 Summer Olympics.

There are actual events such as the Mitten Medley, WIPs Wrestling, Sock Put and Synchronized Spinning. Although I am madly working on a WIP (Work in Progress) I am not participating in the Ravellinics. Too much pressure to perform.

I am however, reading a sports themed book!

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Publisher’s Summary:

I am Lou Brown:

Social outcast, precocious failure, 5’10” and still growing.

I was on the fast track to the Olympic superstardom.

Now, I’m training boys too cool to talk to me. In a sport I just made up. In a fish tank.

My life has quickly become very weird.

Nat Luurtsema’s YA debut is side-splittingly funny and painfully true to anyone who’s just trying to figure out how they fit into the world.

Goodreads gives a little more detail.

Goodreads Sumary: Lou Brown is one of the fastest swimmers in the county. She’s not boasting, she really is. So things are looking pretty rosy the day of the Olympic time-trials. With her best mate Hannah by her side, Lou lines up by the edge of the pool, snaps her goggles on and bends into her dive…

Everything rests on this race. It’s Lou’s thing.

… or it was. She comes dead last and to top it all off Hannah sails through leaving a totally broken Lou behind.

Starting again is never easy, particularly when you’re the odd-one out in a family of insanely beautiful people and a school full of social groups way too intimidating to join. Where do you go from here? Finding a new thing turns out to be the biggest challenge Lou’s ever faced and opens up a whole new world of underwater somersaults, crazy talent shows, bitchy girls and a great big load of awkward boy chat.

Lou Brown guides us through the utter humiliation of failure with honesty, sass and a keen sense of the ridiculous. This girl will not be beaten.

This book was first published in the UK as Girl out of Water.

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In France, it is Moi et les Aquaboys.

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No matter what language you read it in, this is a funny and poignant novel about what happens after the agony of defeat.

Crawling to the Airport

6 Jul

Rather than driving directly to the airport for my 6pm return flight home, my sister and I took a leisurely drive to the airport yesterday in order to participate in the Lakeside Yarn Crawl.

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Unlike Portland’s 4-day Rose City Yarn Crawl, the Lakeside Yarn Crawl begins in mid-June and runs through Labour Day. That gives you two months to visit the twelve participating LYS (local yarn shops) that rim the Southern end of Georgian Bay in Ontario.

Our first stop was True North Yarn Co. in Barrie.This was the only shop of the 12 in the yarn crawl my sister had been to before. The first shop on a yarn crawl is always tricky. You don’t want to get carried away and spend too much, but you don’t want to walk out without supporting a local yarn shop. I bought a colorful self-striping yarn.

Our next stop was also in Barrie. Eliza’s Buttons and Yarn is a treasure, tucked away in a strip mall just off the 400. That’s a major highway for those of you not from Ontario. Deb, who was manning the store that day, was a gregarious knitter.She and her sister, Lyn, design patterns under the name Cabin Fever.  I was anxious to get to this shop because I knew from the passport that they stocked the signature yarn of the crawl and I wanted to ask about it. Deb told us about Dragon Strings,  the local dyer who produced the yarn, a cashmere blend called Lakeside, dyed to match the colors of Georgian Bay.

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I didn’t purchase a skein here, but chose another skein by the dyer in Fall colors. Me & my earth tones! My sister did get one, however, and we left feeling as though we had found the pot of gold at the end of the rainbow.

After a bite to eat at Panera, we went off the 400 and onto what William Least Heat Moon calls a blue highway. our destination was Alliston, and two more shops.

The first, Alliston Yarns, is what we like to call a grandma shop. It caters to an older, more traditional knitter. This is not the place to look for hand-dyed Blue-faced Leicester, but you can find a great gran for knitting aster or baby blanket. I got a skein of gradient sock yarn here.

A little further down highway 89 was our last stop, The Knitting Basket, in Rosemont, a tiny town about 10 miles west of Alliston. Angie, the owner of this shop, was my favorite shop person of the day. She runs her small business out of her house in this rural area. My sister and I fantasized about how we could do this when we retire. For a small shop in rural Ontario, she has excellent yarn. She has a lovely mix of everyday yarns and a range of independent dyers. I finally got my skein of Lakeside here! My sister and I each got a gift bag, too. We had a lovely chat with Angie about how her business operates. If you are in the area, you should definitely stop in to see her.

So, here’s my stash.

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My sister’s GPS indicated we could get to the airport on more blue highways, so, rather than return to the 400, we meandered through the Central Ontarian landscape and small towns towards Toronto, stopping for a Tim Horton’s in Bolton.

I got to the airport in a timely manner and had a bit of Canadian money left, so, I did what any self-respecting ex-pat should so: I bought the candy I can’t get in the USA!

Here’s my other stash.

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Frogging

3 Mar

According to the Merriam-Webster Dictionary, the word ‘frog’ has 5 meanings.

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I hate to be a pedant, but they missed a few.

Frog can also describe a basset with his or her rear legs stretched out.

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It is a common term in Bassetdom as many basset hounds find this position very comfy and relaxing.

Frog is also a knitting term. It is a verb of recent origin, said to come from the sound a frog makes. Ribbit sounds like rip it and means to rip out your knitting. Let me use it in a sentence for you.

Realizing I had misread the directions, I had to frog the baby dress I started Saturday.

Alas, this exemplar is also a statement of truth. I started a new knitting project on Sunday. When I found it, I read the note that said “errata available” and actually found the error and correction. But caught up in the ecstasy of a new project, I promptly forgot about it. I was about 1/3 of the way through the back of the baby dress when I realized something was off. I kept going for a bit more, then remember the  “errata available” message. I reread the correction and realized it was unsalvageable, so I frogged it.

Then, I started over, doing correctly. It looks much better now.

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Sometimes a little frogging is all it takes to make the world right again.

The thing about knitting…

14 Dec

Knitting tends to be a solitary endeavor, unless you belong to a knitting circle. Even if you do, most of the work is done alone. But the cool thing about knitting is that, although alone, you spend a lot of time thinking about the person you are knitting for.

My mother taught me to knit, but it was my Danish host mother, Lis Pedersen, who taught me to make things and read a pattern. She also taught me to knit continental style.

I have a lot of happy memories tied up in knitting.

In Knit Together,  Angela Dominguez brings together a mother who knits with a daughter who wants to knit, but only creates tangles.

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A lot of beginning knitters get frustrated while learning…it looks so much easier than it is.

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Fortunately, our unnamed narrator has a patient mother who finds the perfect solution to this dilemma.

Goodreads Summary: New from an award-winning illustrator comes a sweet story of mothers and daughters, drawing and knitting, and learning to embrace your talents—just right for Mother’s Day.

Drawing is fun, but knitting is better—because you can wear it! Knitting isn’t easy, though, and can be a little frustrating. Maybe the best thing to do is combine talents. A trip to the beach offers plenty of inspiration. Soon mom and daughter are collaborating on a piece of art they can share together: a special drawing made into a knitted beach blanket.

For every mom and daughter, this is an arts-and-crafts ode creative passion and working together.

High gear crafting season

1 Dec

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After Thanksgiving comes the crafting panic. Will I get everything done in time? I always seem to start later than I ought to, even tough it feels early. So, now I am knitting in every spare moment.

So far, I’ve finished 3 pairs of socks that will be holiday presents. Then I made an ornament for an ornament exchange. Sorry I can’t post pictures; I don’t want to spoil the surprise.

I have one hat to finish before I have to get everything in the mail. All of the gifts, except for the ornament, will go to Canada. The post office always recommends that parcels to Canada should be mailed no later than December 10th. Being the time minded obsessive that I am, I like to get them mailed before the USPS deadline. My self-imposed deadline is Monday, December 7th.

We are small gift givers. People I give to will get something hand knit and a book. I love knitting for people because, as I knit, I think about them. I think about other things, too, but I think about them more often than I do when I’m not knitting for them. I especially love choosing books for people. I usually take a day and go to Powell’s, armed with a list of ideas for each person. Then, I like to pick up each book, leaf through it and think if it is that just right book for them.

I always mail the parcel from the main post office downtown. I could go to a smaller one a little closer to home, but I like the ladies at the counter at the main PO. They are feisty and festive.

Once everything is in the mail, I take a little break. And then it is January: Knit Something for Yourself Month.

 

TGIF

20 Nov

At last, it is Friday. It has felt like it should have been Friday since Tuesday. I can hardly wait to do nothing tomorrow.

By nothing, of course I mean read and knit. I can’t talk about the knitting projects because they are top secret holiday gift items. Let’s just say I discovered a new yarn company, Biscotte Yarns, that I love.

This is the Morris Committees last weekend to discuss nominees and we will make our final pitches for books on Sunday. Next week, we vote to select our five finalists. They will be announced officially on December 1st, I believe. Then, the rereading begins. I need to know those five books inside out so I can articulately debate their merits when we meet in January to choose the winner.

In the meantime, I have a ton of good books on my to read pile, none of which are Morris related. This weekend, I hope to tap into a few of them.

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Have a great weekend. You’ve earned it.

 

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