Monthly Archives: March 2020

Day 8 – One More Finished Object

Today’s numbers – 809,608 infected, with 39,545 dead, and 172,869 recovered, for a total of 597,194 active cases. I wonder how high that number will go before we see a decrease.

I finished John’s socks! The knitting was finished yesterday but I didn’t do up the toes until this morning. Yesterday was spent trying to update his Kobo after the latest Apple upgrade. What a nightmare! We kept going round and round in circles, trying to get the Kobo and the Mac to talk to each other. Both showed that they were authorized to talk to each other but neither would. I finally set him up on my new tablet (bought at Christmas for the upcoming market season) so he can read. Once everything is back to normal (whatever the new normal will be), he can go to the library again to see if they can help him get it set up again.

While working on the second sock yesterday, I noticed this…

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A dropped stitch about an inch down from where I was. I will admit there were a couple of bad words. Then, I grabbed a crochet hook and went to work.

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There’s a bit of a lumpy section but once the socks are washed, that will even out and it won’t even be noticeable. It was either use the crochet hook or rip it back to that point and I wasn’t ready to do that.

This morning, I closed the toes and wove in all the ends (there weren’t that many) and presented John with his new pair of socks. I love the look on his face when he gets a new pair; it’s almost like he can’t believe I did that for him. It’s one of the things I love about him.

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The yarn, as you can see is Lang Super Soxx Color, 75% wool and 25% nylon. I’m not sure if I’ve used the Lang Super Soxx before. It’s a little “rougher” than others I’ve used but I think it will soften up with washing. Feels good to have them off the needles and done.

Now, I can work on the Orkney Pi Shawl. Yesterday, I took the risk and drove to the print shop (where I worked) to print the file, all 29 pages! (According to my co-worker, it’s been really quiet, with very little to do.) I’ve found my place in the pattern, attached the new ball of wool and will start working on it again later today.

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Day 7 – Feels Like Saturday All Over Again

Today’s Covid-19 numbers: As of 7:04 a.m. there are 741,030 total confirmed cases with 35,114 deaths and 156,838 recoveries, leaving a total of 549,078 active cases worldwide. I wonder how high that number will go before we start to see it come down.

Yesterday (Sunday) was a very productive day in the knitting department. I picked up a pair of socks that I’d started for John a few months ago. The first sock was already off the needles (still needed the toe to be Kitchenered closed) and the second had about 5″ of the leg knit. I managed to turn the heel and make it almost halfway down the foot by the time I went to bed last night. The foot is the completely mindless knitting part as it’s all just knit, no patterning at all, easy enough to do while watching YouTube videos on the laptop. If today goes anything like yesterday, he’ll have another pair of socks by end of day today.

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He’s so appreciative of his hand knit socks that I enjoy making them for him. I usually have a pair on the go as they’re a nice small project that can be worked on pretty much anywhere. Not that we go anywhere right now… you know what I mean. The best part is the pattern is so simple, I have it mostly memorized. There’s just one spot that I need to refer to my notes for – the first two rows of the heel turning. Apart from that, I don’t need to refer to the pattern, which also helps to make it a very portable project.

The days are beginning to flow into one another now. As the title says, every day feels like a Saturday. There’s no real routine right now. I do get up around the same time every morning and still have my usual morning routine – coffee and computer time until I’m fully awake. Then, it’s time to putter around here, do the dishes, make up the bed, tidy up… you know, all the stuff I used to do on a Saturday morning.

Speaking of YouTube videos, while searching for ways to block a large circular shawl, I came across a YouTube channel that I just had to subscribe to. If you’re a knitter, you might enjoy it, too. It’s Fruity Knitting (not sure about the name but, oh well) and each video episode is over an hour in length. I watched three episodes yesterday.

Andrea & Andrew are an Australian husband and wife team of knitters, living in Germany. In each episode, they share what they’re working on, go for a walk and some “Extreme Knitting”, and have segments with knitters from around the world as well as in depth interviews with crafters. I watched an interview with a couple of Shetland lace knitters, another with a woman who makes Dorset Buttons, and a third with a woman who teaches Peruvian knitting. All were fascinating interviews. It’s definitely something to check out if you’re at all interested in knitting.

I still haven’t found any information about blocking (or dressing) a large circular shawl, though, so if you have any information on the subject, please let me know.

Stay safe and wash your hands!

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Day 6 – Digging Through the Past

Today’s Covid-19 update: as of 8:15 a.m., 684,652 people have been diagnosed, 32,113 have died, and 145,696 have recovered, leaving 506,843 active cases worldwide.

Now, on to more interesting things. One of the advantages of cleaning out my spare room, including moving the bed into storage, is that I now have access to the trunk that contains some of my yarn and unfinished projects from years past. And I do mean years.

One of the bags I unearthed contained this…

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I blogged about it years ago (2008 to be precise). Yes, 2008!! You can read my post about it here.

It has been languishing since because I’d come to the end of the yarn and really didn’t want to wind up another ball. Normally, I use one of my lamps to wind my yarn but this particular skein is too big to fit on the lamp shade so I have to use two chairs. Like this…

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Winding up 600 m of single ply sticky (it’s fuzzy) yarn takes time! Now it’s done though and, once I finish John’s socks (one done, second almost half way) I’ll pick up where I left on this shawl. I remember it being an enjoyable knit and I’m probably about half way on the pattern. Speaking of the pattern, I could see in my previous blog post that I had printed the pattern and coil bound it into a booklet which should be easy to find, right? Well, you’d be wrong. I couldn’t find it anywhere. I even went back to my CD collection to see if I had it on disk; the CD drive in my laptop won’t read the disks for some reason (probably too dusty). I decided the easy way out was to simply purchase the pattern again. Thankfully, the designer is on Ravelry.

Oh, speaking of the pattern, it is the Orkney Pi Shawl by Liz Lovick of Northern Lace.

The yarn I’m using for this shawl is a Swedish yarn from Järbo Garn, a single ply yarn I’ve used quite a bit in the past. I really like it and still have another one or two skeins of it.

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Stay tuned. There will be knitting.

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Day 4 – Almost the Weekend!

As of 1:00 p.m. today, there are 586,140 confirmed cases but with deaths and recoveries subtracted, there are a total of 428, 417 active cases world wide. Here in BC, Bonnie Henry, our Provincial Health Officer has announced that it looks like BC is flattening the curve, slowing the rate of infection (click). I do hope the good news continues.

Around the house, things are pretty quiet. I didn’t sleep well last night; I kept dreaming I was in something like a spy story, trying to stay one step ahead of something, or someone, who was chasing me. Not hard to figure that one out, is it? Today, I’m not forcing myself to do much but I did get some laundry done and I did make a batch of soap, one that has a long cure, up to 6 months or more.

I also finished a book I started yesterday. I’m still waiting for Jean M Auel’s “The Painted Caves” but I had a David Baldacci book on hold at the library, downloaded and started it yesterday. I finished it just a few minutes ago. If you’re curious, it was “Two Minutes to Midnight” and was a suspenseful, quick read but then, I do read fast. Now, I’ll have to find something else to read. I’m always looking for suggestions so……

To get a bit of fresh air, I did get outside for a few minutes today, long enough to check on things in the yard. I took this picture of the honeysuckle a couple of days ago. It won’t be long before it’s in full bloom. The lilac buds are growing daily, too. I’m looking forward to being comfortably able to sit outside again.

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Today is a partially sunny, mostly cloudy day, with a temperature of about 13ºC today, nice but not quite sit outside nice.

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Day Three – Cloudy Inside and Out

First, today’s stats. The confirmed cases have now risen to 511,603 (as of 11:34 a.m. our time); total deaths have reached 23,067 and those who have recovered are now at 120,996, meaning a total of 367,540 confirmed active cases.

I’m finding it a little more difficult to get interested in doing anything today for some reason. The sky is clouded over and I’m feeling a little “cloudy” myself, not down or anything, just grey and a little tired (no, I’m not sick) I really don’t want to be sitting at my computer all day but there’s nothing I really want to do either. I finished the book I was reading yesterday, Book 5 in the Earth’s Children Series by Jean M. Auel and I won’t get Book 6 from the library for about two weeks so I had to find something else to read. However, I’m so into the flow of the series that I’m not really ready to jump into something completely different. I have knitting to keep me occupied but that entails sitting as well and I don’t particularly want to be sitting around for hours on end.

So I’m baking.

Baking has always been something I’ve enjoyed doing and I’ve been baking since I was about seven years old when my Mom taught me how to make a basic two egg cake and the butter icing that was on the back of the icing sugar box. Today, though I’m making some buns. The recipe is Heavenly Yeast Rolls. I’ve been making these off and on for a number of years and they always turn out great. Plus, they’re pretty easy to make.

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Ready for the oven

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Out of the oven and smelling amazing!

I think we’ll have these with dinner tonight. I took a tub of Dutch Pea Soup (Erwtensoep) out of the freezer to that. They’ll go together very nicely!

I thought I might even bake an old fashioned cake this afternoon. What’s an old fashioned cake, you ask? The Lazy Daisy Cake has been around for a long time, apparently since the 1940’s. I can remember baking it when I was still a kid in Winnipeg (we moved away from there when I was 12) and it was already a classic then. It’s a hot milk cake, which means you mix up all your ingredients first, then add the hot milk and melted butter. The topping is mix of butter, cream, coconut, and brown sugar which is poured on the cake when it comes out of the oven. Then it’s broiled until lightly browned. It’s yummy and sweet and just what we need (not) right about now. If I do decide to make it, I’ll post a picture tomorrow.

At some point today one of us will need to go out and get some basic shopping done. Hopefully, we’ll be able to get what we need. I’ve been hearing reports of some items (not necessarily toilet paper), like flour and sugar, being in short supply. I’m getting a little low on flour so it’s definitely on my list along with a few other things we’ll need to weather this storm. I was going to call it a crisis but, around here, I don’t think it is a crisis just yet, not like it is in some of the major centers. We’re happy to be staying around the house but we do need supplies in order to do that for any length of time.

 

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Day Two – Take It Outside

Day two; it’s a gorgeous day here in the sunny Okanagan. It’s about 10ºC and sunny, although there is a bit of a brisk breeze now and then. John and I decided it would be a good day to go for a walk through the neighbourhood. I’m glad we did. Now that the weather is getting nicer, we’ll be doing more of that.

So, looking on the dark side of things for a moment, there are now 454,398 confirmed cases of Covid-19 world wide with 20,550 deaths and 113,045 recovered, leaving a total of 320,803 confirmed active cases. That, obviously, isn’t an accurate picture because, as we all know, there are not enough Covid-19 test kits to confirm every case. I won’t dwell on it; I’m only posting the numbers for future reading.

I would rather focus on what we’re doing to stay sane in a world that feels a little insane right now.

Yesterday, I picked up a project that I had started before Christmas – a pair of felted slippers for John. I usually end up making him a pair every other year, sometimes every year, as needed. He starts out wearing them only in the house but ends up wearing them outside occasionally and that’s pretty hard on them. They’re usually a quick knit but concentration-demanding because of the construction. It’s fun to see the difference between the pre-felted slippers and the post-felting result.

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I used my flip flops for comparison.

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The “lint” on the slippers is from the insole of the canvas runners I used in the felting process. One of the insoles came out and it had a chipboard backing that completely disintegrated. They’re not so bad after a bit of a shave but the slippers did look a little disgusting at first, as if they’d been vomited on (sorry, but they did!).

Today, I’ll be finishing up a small knitting repair project for a friend; I’ll post pictures once it’s all done but maybe not until she’s seen it. I’m also working on a shawl I started earlier this year. Again, I’ll post pictures once I’m a little further into the project but here’s a little preview.

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What about you? What are you doing to keep yourself sane in this time of pandemic? I’m trying to turn the radio off as much as possible so we’re not hearing about it all the time and, instead, turning to other things. Let’s help keep each other’s spirits up as much as we can.

See you tomorrow!

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May You Live In Interesting Times

More than two years? Wow! I didn’t think it had been THAT long! Obviously, I’ve been far too busy to keep up with this blog. That all changed yesterday.

Thanks to the Covid-19 pandemic, I was laid off yesterday. I’ve been working in my job since 2007. Was I surprised? No, not really. Ever since the global panic set it, we saw business declining fast. There wasn’t a option, as far as I or anyone else could see. We started out with about eleven employees. Now, there are (I think) four and perhaps a fifth working as needed remaining. The question now is how long can the shop remain open?

There’s so much uncertainty right now as to what constitutes an essential service; does a print shop qualify? You could argue either way, I suppose. The fact remains, though, that there just wasn’t enough work to warrant everyone remaining at work.

Today is Day One of my unemployment adventure. At this point, I’m just trying to figure out what I’ll be doing with my time. I always have projects on the go, whether it be knitting, baking, soapmaking (that will be on hold for a while), or another creative outlet. Writing is another outlet and that’s why I’ve decided to revive this blog. I can’t promise anything but I’d like to write a little every day, just cuz.

If you’ve been a reader of this blog in the past and still have me in your blog list, give me some ideas, things I can do to make my days feel productive and full now that we’ve been admonished to stay home. Thankfully, we live in a place where we have access to the outdoors (nice big yard) and it’s spring, a great time to enjoy that yard. There will be some gardening starting soon. There will be pictures to take… and share.

Why not join me as we try to get through this crazy time? Let’s get through it together…. separately.

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