Posts Tagged With: winter

Just Another Weekend

It’s been… hmm… I was going to say that it’s been a quiet weekend so far but it hasn’t, really. On Friday, our kitchen baseboard heater decided to stop working… again. It does this every year – works for a week or two, then stops working for the rest of the year. We’ve been lucky enough to have an extra space heater that we’ve been using but it has decided it’s usefulness had expired this year and has now become nothing but garbage.

We let the landlord know about the heat situation and, on Friday night, K showed up to check the heater, the wiring, and whatever else he could determine. Yesterday, he and the landlord came by with a new heater to install but there seems to be some kind of an issue with wiring so, for the moment, we have no heat in the kitchen. Thankfully, it’s not yet cold enough that it’s an issue but it has made for a busy kitchen. By the time I returned from my shopping trip, there were three men and two dogs in my kitchen, with furniture all over the room, making it something of an obstacle course.

Later, Kristen and the kids came by for a fire and some roasted marshmallows. They even brought “coloured fire”, some packets of chemicals that you throw into the fire to make some fun and funky colours. I think it would have been more effective if we’d waited until dark but it was fun anyway. After a few marshmallows each, Kristen suggested we all go out for dinner and she managed to talk John into it. After a bit of discussion, we ended up at the Mission Tap House; if you’re in Kelowna and looking for a decent place to go for a meal, try it; everyone enjoyed their meals. I was the only one with leftovers, only because I really wasn’t all that hungry, not because it wasn’t good.

I even managed to get a batch of soap made. I’ve been watching a video channel (Soaping 101) and she’s made a couple of videos in which she takes a popular brand of soap (in this case, Dove) and breaks down their ingredients, creates a formula and makes a copy. I decided to try her recipe, now that I have all the supplies on hand. I added a scent (ylang ylang – just a little bit) and a little bit of silk protein, just because I still have some.

NoDoveBefore we even left for dinner, I was able to remove the soap from the mold; it was still a bit warm but already quite hard. By the time we got home, I cut it. Had I waited until this morning, I think it might have been too hard to cut! Do you see the white flecks in the soap? That’s from the titanium dioxide I used to colour half the batter. It’s nothing but cosmetic, just a little bit of interest in an otherwise pure white bar.

It needs to cure for at least 3-4 weeks but I’m looking forward to trying this soap.

And, in case you’re wondering, yes, there has been knitting. I have about 12″ done on the back of John’s sweater and I’ve started the third ball of yarn. At this point, apart from 12″ of straight on knitting, there’s not much to see. Imagine the last picture, doubled, and you get the idea.

Today, the plan is to make another batch of the first soap I made, the Coconut Milk soap, my personal favourite so far. After that, it’s all up in the air but I do anticipate some progress on John’s sweater.

 

Categories: Blogging, Cardigan, John's Sweater, Knitting, Making Soap, Soap | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Happy Valentine’s Day

The middle of February… already! And, yes, today is Valentine’s Day. It’s pretty gorgeous here today. Right now, the sun is shining and it’s about 9ºC (48ºF). It’s definitely a day to get out there, something I intend to do shortly.

I did wander about a bit this morning, checking on the garden out front. I wasn’t surprised to see bits of green showing.

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This is a stand of poppies, the nice big, bright red ones. I was surprised to see it, and the other stand, as green as they are; I think they may be the first to flower this year if they keep growing like this!

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Even the roses are starting to put out buds; I noticed the irises and daisies are starting to come up, too. I did tell John that I’d wait until the beginning of March before getting into clean up mode but we may have to start sooner if this weather keeps up.

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This is all that remains of our January snowfall. At one point, the kids had tunnels in this pile; it really was a big pile, higher than the kids were tall. They were even sledding down one side of it.

Now, though, spring is on its way and I, for one, am more than ready for it. We’re coming in to my favourite time of year.

This past week did see some progress on the knitting front.

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That’s the first of John’s pair of slippers. I always chuckle as the size of these slippers before the felting process; they’re huge! I still have the second sole to complete but the knitting, at least, is done on this slipper. The second sole has been cast on. It doesn’t take long to knit the sole but it does demand some concentration; if you’ve ever knit this pattern, you’ll know what I mean.

I’ll try to get this pair done this weeked but I have every intention of enjoying this mild weather while we have it. In the meantime, I wish you all…….

VDay

Categories: Blogging, Garden, Just stuff, Knitting, The Weather | Tags: , , , , , , | 1 Comment

December

And suddenly, it’s December! We’ve had snow, we’ve had freezing rain. We’ve had cold temperatures (down to about -15ºC); it’s warming up a bit now (at about 3ºC right now). Both John and I have been hit with our first colds of the season; mine kept me home for two days. We’re on the mend now, thankfully.

snow bikes

With winter weather comes the urge for knitting. I’ve really been bitten by the knitting bug this winter, more than I have all year. I suppose the break from knitting was a necessary one. Coming back to it now, I’m finding myself enjoying it more than I have in what feels like a very long time.

This past week, I’ve kept my needles busy. One of Ethan’s slippers is finished… well, the knitting of one slipper is finished. The second is almost half finished. They won’t be completely finished, of course, until the felting process is complete.

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The little piece of purple yarn is there as a marker for joining the cuff to the foot. Once felted, these slippers will look like high top running shoes, complete with laces. Once Ethan’s are finished, I’ll make Trinity’s and won’t felt them until the kids are around to watch the process.

I also started, and finished a small project for a friend with a baby. Over the years, I’ve come to realize that scarves on little ones can be a hazard and the use of scarves is no longer encouraged for infants. When the weather’s cold, though, little necks need to stay warm, too. I’ve always been of the belief that if it’s cold enough for you, as a parent, to pull on a sweater or wear a jacket, hat, scarf, and mittens, you should be dressing your child accordingly as well.

To that end, I went hunting on the Drops (Garnstudio) web site and found a cute little pattern for a neck scarf that ties at the back.

The pattern is Henrik VIII (click the title to see the pattern). It uses less than one ball of yarn and would have been finished in one evening if my cold-clouded brain had comprehended the increase row near the end. If you check out the pattern pictures, you’ll see that it covers the neck nicely and looks almost like a dickey. It should definitely keep any cold winds or gusts off of the recipient’s neck.

The yarn I used was some leftover Sandnes Garn Lanett Baby Ull, 100% superwash wool on 2.25 mm straight needles.

I also decided this week that I’m going to knit another pair of socks for myself… maybe. I’m not sure I have any more of the yarn I started with so this may end up just being an experiment that will be frogged once I see how it fits after turning the heel.

red socks

We shall see. For now, it’s simply mindless knitting. I’ve been toying with a few ideas. I may knit this one up to the heel, work the heel in a different colour, then work the cuff in a third colour. Hopefully, working it like that might leave me with enough yarn to work the foot of the second sock in the same way. I only have one 50 gm. ball of the red yarn, unfortunately. I bought it quite some time ago so I doubt I’ll be able to find another ball of it; even if I did, I don’t remember what brand it is as there’s no tag or label with it. I do know that it’s a superwash DK wool and is very soft and cushy. If I do manage to make a matching sock, they will definitely be nice and warm. I like nice and warm!

Before I end this post, I have to do a bit of bragging. It’s not bragging about myself; I have to brag about my daughter. She’s been crocheting for some time now but has never quite picked up on how to read a pattern; well, she sure can now!

owl hats

Ethan doesn’t look very happy, does he? He wasn’t feeling well when Kristen picked the kids up from school and, shortly after this picture was taken, he threw up. He does love his hat… really! Kristen has been keeping her crochet hooks flying and I have convinced her to join Ravelry. Once she saw how easy it is to look up all kinds of crochet patterns, she was hooked (yes, bad pun, I know… couldn’t resist).

There’s more I could write about but this post is, I think, long enough. I’ll save the rest for another post. For now, I’d best get going. I made a big pot of pea soup last night and I’m planning on baking a couple kinds of bread today – Raisin bread and another couple loaves of white bread for the freezer. As well, there’s laundry to do and Christmas decorating to be put up, and…… well, you get the picture.

Categories: Knitting, Slippers, Socks, The Weather, Uncategorized | Tags: , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

One Pair Down

I am pleased to report that Ethan’s socks are off the needles, finished, ready to be slipped on to (not so) little feet. I’m feeling very productive and rather pleased with myself, to be honest.

Ethan_sock4

Not only are they finished, they even match! I don’t normally go out of my way to make socks match when I’m using self-striping yarn but I thought that, in this case, I’d see how closely I could get them to match. They’re pretty much identical, right up to the cast off edge of the cuff (one half yellow, one half blue).

EthanTrinsocks

Trinity’s socks are coming along nicely, too. This was taken yesterday morning, before I’d finished Ethan’s socks. Trinity’s are further along now as well; I’m about halfway up the cuff. My goal is to have the first sock finished today and cast on for the second one by tonight. If I can get the toe done, it’s mindless knitting up to the heel.

I have to say, I’m pleased with this pattern/method. To call it a pattern is something of a misnomer. It’s really just a collection of its parts; I used the directions for the round toe, the directions for the Fish Lips Kiss heel, and then the directions for Jeny’s Surprisingly Stretchy Bind Off. I will put links to all three on the “On The Web” page ( Jeny’s SSBO is already there).

Yesterday, I took Trinity and Ethan out for lunch and afterwards, we stopped in at Kelowna Yarn & Needlework. I wanted to pick up another long circular needle so I can work on two pairs of socks if I want to. While there, Trinity noticed a pair of gloves knitted with a self-striping yarn that was predominantly orange. She was instantly smitten, looked at me and asked, ever so beseechingly, “Grandma, can you make me a pair of gloves like that? Pleeeeeeease?”

I may be knitting gloves again. Sigh! (Really, they’re not that bad. As I said to John later, they’re nothing more than 5 little tubes and one larger tube… just fiddly.)

We had our first snowfall of the year this weekend. It wasn’t much but it sure was fun to be able to reveal to Trinity and Ethan the first snow they’ve encountered here in Kelowna. They were watching a movie when I opened the door and showed them that there was snow on the ground. After we finished dinner, they went out to play in the wet, slushy snow and even tried to make a snowman. By Saturday, it had frozen over and the kids spent a lot of time “skating” (sliding) on the driveway and sledding down the pile of sand (at the back corner or the yard). I was amazed at how much time they spent out there.

snowday

 

As for me? Snow on the ground means knitting time!

Categories: Blogging, Finished, Knitting, Socks, The Weather | Tags: , , , , | 4 Comments

And Now For the Finale

It’s getting colder here. This past week, the temperatures have dipped down to a very chilly -12ºC (about 10ºF) with the daytime temperatures hovering around the freezing mark. Apparently, at the college, almost all the leaves are down, with a few stubborn holdouts (mainly the London Plane trees). There were even some swirling snowflakes yesterday; a sign of things to come? Winter is definitely here.

With the cold comes the need for “warmies”; I’ve started perusing mitten patterns for the kids (nothing fancy as I’m sure more than one pair will go missing before winter is over – they usually do). They’ll be needing them for sure! I’ll likely stay with an old tried and true basic mitten pattern as they knit up quickly and the pattern is a familiar one. And the slippers need knitting up very soon. Sooner rather than later!

In the interim, though, Ethan’s socks are coming along. I’m ready for binding off the first sock and the second has been cast on (that little bit of yarn on the needles perpendicular to the cuff.

Ethan_sock3

Don’t mind the table cloth; it isn’t dirty. The streaks are old paint stains; this is my crafting tablecloth. I’d rather have spills and stains on it than on my nice fabric tablecloths – I should get a new one, though. This one’s rather ugly. I digress.

This is where the title of this post comes in. The finale would be the bind off. I’ll be using Jeny’s Surprisingly Stretchy Bind Off, which originally appeared in the Knitty Fall 2009 issue.  There is also a You Tube video of the technique, by Cat Bordhi, for those who would prefer to see the bind off process in action.

Now, all I need is a foot to try the sock on. After that, it’s working towards the Grand Finale… a finished pair of socks!

Edited to add: IT FIT!!! Perfectly! On to sock #2!

Categories: Blogging, Knitting, Socks | Tags: , , , | 3 Comments

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