Monday, April 29, 2013

Misc. Monday

These are awesome. It used to be the only kind of glow-in-the-dark yarn you could buy was cheap acrylic. Now it is going to be possible to buy a 100% wool version. I just need to convince my friends with an acreage that they would really like some of these sprinkled over their property.

My cousin Kath and I have a Big Trip planned for this coming September. Our first stop will be in the Cotswolds, where we plan to spend a couple days recovering from jet lag. Then we are heading to Wales, where we will be doing a six day walk along the coastal path in Pembrokeshire. We will finish the trip in Shetland. I was very disappointed when I read yesterday that Prince William is leaving the RAF this summer. If I fall off a cliff in Wales I had been hoping he would be the one to come to my rescue.

We had a lovely visit with Rebekah last week. On Friday the two of us drove out to visit my friends, and, hopefully, future glow-in-the-dark sheep owners in Sorrento (BC, not Italy). Rebekah, Cindy and I drove out to nearby Herald Park and walked up to Margaret Falls.

Yesterday while the realtor was showing the house I drove over to the neighbourhood park. While I was sitting in my car, knitting and listening to a podcast, a lady drove up and parked next to me. She opened the back of her vehicle and let her two spaniels out to play. One of them ran about 50 meters away from the lady and she totally lost it with the dog. She stood there screaming at it to come back, then ran at it, still screaming and waving her arms. The dog was just running back and forth. It wasn't in danger. It wasn't even that far away from her.

What happened next took my breath away. She grabbed the dog and shook it. Hard. Repeatedly. Then she jammed the dog down onto the ground with its face shoved into the grass and held it there for at least five minutes. I kept thinking that any minute she would let it up, but no, she continued to discipline it. When she finally did let it up she took it back to the car and locked the poor thing in, then went and played with her other dog. Oh, and that car? It had an ad painted on the back window with the name and phone number for her dog grooming business.

Speaking of dogs, Fergus and Jenny went missing this morning. I suddenly realized they weren't anywhere to be seen. This gave me the same feeling I used to have when my children were young and it suddenly got quiet. In this case, it turns out they weren't up to any mischief. They had found a patch of sunshine in one of the upstairs bedrooms, and were soaking up some rays.

The tree next to The Art We Are has been hit by yarn bombers.

When I ordered my usual green tea this morning I was handed a lion. When my tea arrived the lion was taken away. Strange.

Wednesday, April 24, 2013

The Great Sweater Save

Rebekah returned from Korea a week ago, and yesterday she came up to Kamloops for a visit. Packed in her bag was the sweater she blogged about in this guest post back in December. After wearing it to bed every night during the long, cold Korean winter it was looking a bit sad. Honestly, when she held it up to show it to me I cracked up. It had more pills than our local pharmacy!

If you look closely at the sleeve on the right you should be able to see the multitude of pills. But just in case you can't, here's a close-up.

I wasn't a bit worried though because I have a secret weapon in my knitter's arsenal - the Gleener 
Ultimate Fuzz Remover.

This handy little tool gets a rating of 10 out of 10. See the difference between the right and left sleeves?

It changed this sweater from something that looked like it had a wool disease into something that you might actually want to wear. Or touch.

I'd say that's roughly half a sheep she is holding in her hands.

Sunday, April 21, 2013

I'm Not...

I'm not sure what to blog about, so I thought I would go with that as my theme.

I'm not sure I will ever trust my Visa card again. After last December's credit card fraud, when someone helped themselves to an airline flight compliments of my credit card, I have been hit once again. This time I was better prepared, having made a list of which charges were linked to the card. What I wasn't prepared for was the replacement card's chip not working.

I'm not going for a walk on the trail any time soon. My neighbour phoned to tell me that when she and her husband returned from walking on it they found nine wood ticks clinging to them. Eewww! I don't mind the occasional bear encounter, but there's no way I want to meet up with a tick.

I'm not the world's best photographer, but this double rainbow was so spectacular even I managed to capture some of its beauty. This was the view from the front of our house.

I'm not cooking anything for dinner tonight. It's Sunday, and several years ago I retired from making Sunday dinners. This officially makes Sunday my favourite day of the week.

I'm not sure what to do about my garden. I hate to put lots of time and money into it and then end up selling the house. Even worse would be not putting in a garden and not selling the house. I'll probably compromise and add just a bit of new compost, and stick with planting some basics like lettuce, kale, peas and beans. Nothing extravagant, but enough to keep us supplied with veggies should we remain here in Kamloops.

I'm not going to get tired of knitting baby things any time soon. I love how quickly baby projects knit up! Here are some cotton baby bibs I knit for our new great niece.

And a sweater for grandchild #1, knit with Excelana, a vintage British yarn.

And finally, I'm not sure what to do with a box of ripe mangoes.

Any suggestions?

Wednesday, April 17, 2013

Three In Three

I arrived back in Kamloops Saturday evening. I am always very relieved to pull into my driveway after the long drive back from the US, but never more than this time due to the unwelcome passenger in my vehicle.

On the trip south last Tuesday I was driving along, listening to an Audible book, minding my own business when suddenly a spider appeared on the windshield directly in front of me. My first reaction was that it had better be on the outside of the window. My second was one of alarm when I realized I was looking at the top of the spider, which meant it had to be on the inside. Not good. Especially since there wasn't any place to quickly pull off to the side of the road and deal with it.

Ten very long minutes later I was able to pull over, but by this time the spider had vanished. I looked everywhere, but it was not to be found. Not good.

This was only about two hours into an eight hour drive, so for the next six hours I was sure I could feel the spider crawling up my leg. Or down my neck. Or across my head. Or on my shoulder. Not good.

I sort of forgot about the spider while I was at my mom's, until Friday when we hopped in the car to drive up to my cousin Kath's for a visit. Just as I was getting ready to enter the freeway the spider appeared. On my steering wheel, crawling with considerable speed towards my right hand. Not good. I brushed it off the steering wheel and it fell on my leg. My mom swatted at it and it then fell to the floor. That is the last time I saw it. But I know it is still there, lurking under my seat. Or on my visor. Or under the floor mat. Or in the cup holder. Not good.

I really had intended to write about the spider on the weekend, but something else has been consuming my time for the past three days. A very dear friend is going through a rough time, and she asked me if I could knit her a hat. I was so happy to be able to do something, anything, to make her feel better that I cast on hat #1 as soon as I got home from Spokane. My friend described a style of headband she thought would be nice, one with a wide front. As she was describing it I knew immediately what pattern I would use. Calorimetry!

She said she would like something in yellow. I found this Madelinetosh yarn when I was in Spokane, and knit it into this Hurricane Hat. I think it looks very bright and cheerful. I hope she thinks so too.

While I was shopping for the yellow yarn I spotted some Spud and Chloe Outer in this beautiful shade of blue. I grabbed a couple of skeins, then went on a pattern search. The New Quick and Easy Ribbed Hat pattern was a perfect match.

Three hats knit in three days.

Or in the middle of a hat...

Thursday, April 11, 2013

Quick Post

Sorry about the blog silence. I am down in the States for a few days visiting my mom. The past two days have included trips to various sewing and yarn stores where I have been searching for the perfect buttons to finish off an otherwise completed baby sweater, and for just the right yarn to start a special project (more on that in my next post).

My mom has been a good sport. She is not a knitter, and she is definitely not a seamstress (she saves clothes that need buttons sewed back on for me to take care of when I come for visits). Going to two fabric stores in two days set a new record for her.

Yesterday she made the mistake of asking me how they make superwash wool. I was enthusiastically explaining how wool has little barb-like bits sticking out, and when they are agitated they lock together and that they remove those bits to make superwash wool. It was when I started in on how they used to use a chemical to make the wool superwash that I noticed her eyes were glazing over.

My mom doesn't understand my knitting, but I have to say there are a few things about my mom I don't understand either. Topping the list would be how she can have a fridge that is so clean and organized the fruit is lined up in rows. When I went to put some leftovers in it tonight it looked so neat I hated to disturb things. This would never be a feeling I would get opening my refrigerator!

Sunday, April 7, 2013

Happy Sad

It is hard to believe it was a year ago that Rebekah left Canada to go teach in Korea. She now has just one week left in the country of her birth, and I find myself feeling both happy and sad. You might be surprised about the sad part, but here's the thing. I love Korea. I have traveled there twice, once with Rebekah and once to visit Rebekah. Now that she is moving back home I have no reason to go back.

I will miss not having another chance to connect with the warm, friendly people.

I will miss the food, which happens to be some of the best on the planet.

I will miss being able to buy crazy socks from the carts in the markets.

And getting surprise parcels in the mail with even more socks to add to my collection.

The happy definitely outweighs the sad though. For one thing, I will never have to stay in another Love Motel.

And there is the problem of the nut job running things in the north.

The happiest thought of all is that Rebekah will soon be back on this side of the Pacific. Instead of having to plan an international adventure in order to spend time with her, all I will have to do is hop in my car and drive south for a few hours. Skype has been okay, but I can't wait to spend some time in person. I anticipate lots of tea consumption and visiting in the near future!

Rebekah, me, Alexandra

Wednesday, April 3, 2013

Come Meet Hannah!

This project tops all others in terms of "fun factor." It started out with some feet and legs, followed by a torso and arms.


Next up came the head and neck. I smiled the whole time I was making that little nose.

I was aiming for a Scandinavian look, so was a little worried about the alien that appeared to be emerging from my needles.

The eyes were a bit tricky. And embroidery isn't my cup of tea, so the mouth and eyelashes were challenging.

Best not to talk about the two nights it took to attach all that hair. All I will say is the smile I had when making the nose was noticeably absent.

I couldn't leave her in just her tights and t-shirt so I knit her a sweater.

Then I spent a lovely Easter Monday afternoon sitting on our back deck, enjoying the record-breaking warm weather, knitting a little dress to go over the sweater. At one point I looked up from my knitting and noticed my yarn and mug were a perfect match. I promise I did not stage this!

Introducing Hannah...

I think she needs a friend, don't you?