Sunday, 5 February 2017

Playoff Time

Tuesday night's game for the 73's was the last game of the regular season.  The results of the game had no effect on the standings for either team.  Winning only mattered for the '3s so they could say they won 30 games in each of the last 6 years.  They met their game goal but finished the season in second place.

Friday night was the first game of the playoffs.  The 2nd place finisher plays the 7th place finisher so Essex faced off against the Mooretown Flags.  The 1st period looked like the game was going to be close and exciting.  Essex managed a goal near the end of the period.  Essex put another 4 goals in the net during the second period and Mooretown switched their goalies.  With Essex leading 5-0 Mooretown become frustrated and the shenanigans started.  Essex lost two players due to injuries and Mooretown lost 2 players to gross misconducts.  One is on a 7 game suspension for derogatory comments and one on a 4 game suspension for an attempt to injure.

I agree that derogatory or racial comments should not be tolerated in the game of hockey.  However, I find it a little strange that something that is said gets a more severe penalty than an action that could result in an injury.

Saturday night saw Essex travelling to Mooretown for game 2.  Hubby and I stayed home and followed the game on pointstreaks website.  It must have been a strange game.  Period 1 saw Essex with a penalty shot but no score.  Essex spent 33 minutes of the game in the penalty box yet still managed to put 3 goals into the Mooretown net.  Even the Essex back-up goalie was in the penalty box according to the pointstreak site but no explanation as to why.  This game is one of the only games I can recall where the other team had more shots on goal than Essex.  Essex though shorthanded a good portion of the game including a stretch of 7 minutes still shutout Mooretown from the scoreboard.  Mooretown is back in Essex on Tuesday night for game 3.  I hope Essex takes this series in 4 games.

Hubby and I were checking out who is playing hockey tonight.  Turns out no one is.  We thought this strange since Sunday night is a regular game night for some teams.  We are so clueless.  Tonight is Superbowl Sunday where everyone else gets together to watch the half-time show and commercials.  I don't know anyone who admits to watching the game.

On the knitting front, the last two hockey games saw me pass the half-way mark on the Harry Potter scarf.  No picture since it looks the same as the last post only longer.

My friend sent me this picture and asked if I could knit her a pair of mittens like this to go with her new navy blue coat.

Now I looked at this photo and rotated this photo and still I am not really sure what she has in mind.  This looks felted but I did not have any yarn in my stash that has all these these colours combined.   I felt that the colours would be more important that the texture so I started these.

I hope she likes them.

I finished the world's cutest baby hat.

The hat is sitting on a piece of fabric I dyed.  Hubby thought I was crazy on Tuesday morning.  I hopped out of bed and became ecstatic that it had snowed.  I quickly showered and dressed.  He found me shovelling snow into a bucket and hauling it to the basement.  I was snow dyeing.  I had read about this technique and wanted to try it.  Back in December I gathered all the things I needed; salt, powdered fabric dye and the basket from my freezer then I waited for it to snow and waited and waited.  Finally enough snow fell Tuesday morning so I could gather clean snow.

The fabric had previously been washed so all I had to do was thoroughly wet it.  I scrunched it up into the basket and put the basket in the laundry sink so the melting snow could drain.  I filled the sink with clean snow, covering the fabric.  I sprinkled salt and powdered dye on top of the snow and left it.  After the hockey game I rinsed the fabric and used the drain and spin cycle to take out the excess water.  I hung to dry.  The next day I used the rinse cycle to take off the excess dye.  I am really happy with the result.  It will eventually be a nightgown for me.

Sunday, 22 January 2017

A Tale of Two Pompoms

Back in December, one of my co-workers on maternity leave brought her baby girl into the Essex office.  If you want to see a group of professionals melt into a puddle of gooey sweetneess bring a baby or puppy to the office.  My co-workers and I are no exception.  The oohing and ahing extended to the hat the baby was wearing.  I kept staring at the hat figuring out what stitches were used and where I might possibly find those pompoms.   It really was the most adorable hat on a most adorable baby.  Another co-worker expecting the birth of a grandchild in April looked at me and asked if I could make her one.

Sure no problem.  I headed out on a search for yarn and pompoms.  The hat needed two and they had to be fake fur.  I decided the yarn had to be chunky.  The hat had to have enough bulk to support the pompoms.  A fine weight yarn would be two wimpy and the weight of the pompoms would pull it down.  I found the yarn I wanted at a Stitch in Time in Leamington.

I started searching the net for pompoms.  Every site I went to were sold out or only had fuschia pink. Not that there is any problem with pink but I wanted something a little more neutral.  After all I had settled on a beautiful deep red for the hat.

On Christmas Eve, I found myself in Mary Maxim in Paris looking for pompoms.  The sales staff said they had been sold out for quite some time and were not expecting any additional shipments.  My heart sank.  I was late tuning into a trend - it was now over.  She did however suggest that they still had some key chains with pompoms on them in the gift department.  I headed over.  The pompoms were gorgeous.  A deep burgundy red.  Perfect I think until I looked at the price.  $15.00 a piece.  Now there are times when I am downright crazy but not so much that I would put $30.00 worth of pompoms on a baby hat that may only have a life expectancy of 5 minutes.  I left disappointed and pompomless.

By the time we reached St Catharines we needed gas and found a gas bar across the street from Michaels.  I headed in on my quest for 2 pompoms. I found one royal blue one.  Just one.  I carried it around the store looking for a clerk.  Maybe they had some more in a different part of the store.  Alas, no, the young man who checked for me said they were all out; this was the last.  One pompom was not going to do it.

I headed for the exit and there in all it's glory was a display of keychains with fake fur pompoms.  I could have done cartwheels if I was capable of doing cartwheels without landing on my head.  I made my selection.  At $5.00 per piece they were within the budget.  I go to pay and bonus - they were half price.

You would think this would be the end of the story but not so.  On Boxing Day I was in the Windsor store they had 2 count them 2 royal blue pompoms.  Before I even realized it they were in my basket and I was at the cash register.  They too were on sale.  Then the next time I was in London atLen's Mill Store they had 2, unbelievably 2 deep burgundy red pompoms.  I could not resist and 2 more pompoms made it home with me.

I was pretty sure the original hat used the brioche stitch.  So for the last 2 weeks I have been casting on and ripping back trying to make this hat.  Too big, too small, can't count stitches, can't remember how to knit the brioche stitch and on and on.  Finally got it.  I hope it is okay.

Yarn is Life Chunky by Stylecraft - 75% acrylic and 25% wool in Cardinal.  48 stitches on 5 mm needles.  About 7.5 inches in length before knitting 2 rounds of k2tog to finish the top.

The hat is to have 2 pompoms.  See ....

I wonder which pair Betty will like.

There has been other knitting on the go.

Hubby's ex-wife also attends the 73's hockey games.  This year I noticed that she seemed cold and was clutching her hands to her chest at the games.  I figured she might like a pair of mittens. Something in the 73's colours might be suitable.  I went into my stash and came out with some black, white and an orangey peach in a discontinued DK superwash wool.  I added some Cascade 220 Sport orange wool and came up with these.

One pair of Cloisonee mittens.  I gave them to P at the last home hockey game against the Blenheim Blades.  Essex won 6-3.  She immediately put them on and seemed genuinely delighted with the gift.

Essex only has two games left to play in the regular season.  Looks like the team will end up in second place this year going into the playoffs.

My niece asked me if I would make her a Harry Potter scarf in the Gryffindor colours.  I said yes but only if she took a hat too.  She would have to wait for it until September.  I would make it as another Harrow Fair entry.  I special ordered the yarn from Sue2Knits and Yarn in McGregor and started the scarf.

Cascade 220 Sport in Goldenrod and Ruby.  It is a giant tube closed at the bottom and will be closed at the top.  Fringe to be added at the end.  This will be a great hockey knitting project.  I get almost one repeat done (5") at a game assuming the game is not edge of your seat exciting.

I have two more requests but I am still working out what I want to knit in what colours and how I can turn them into another entry.  I may be a soft touch in the gifting department but more than happy to comply where it also suits my needs.

Sunday, 8 January 2017


I don't know where December went.  I was sick, then it was Christmas.  I took some time off work and attempted to clean up my house.  Not that it is a total tip but I like to get my house ready for tax season early.  Sorry for the silence.

I have been working on the lapghan.  The pattern is out of my head and I made it up as I went.  For me there is a pattern of behaviour in every project.  I start out with great excitement.  Once I figure out what I am doing then comes this long period where knitting on it is a slog.  I am forcing myself to keep going.  I want to knit on anything else.  I want to start 16 other projects.  In this case I picked out patterns and I picked out yarn.  I even bought more yarn.  I did not however dig any of the yarn out of the stash and I just did not feel up to rooting through my circulars to find the correct needles.  So I just kept on slogging on the blanket.

The next stage is when you can actually see the end of the project moving closer.  At that point I cannot stop myself from knitting on it.  The final glorious moment is starting the bind off.  Here I used a three stitch i-cord bind off. I can't believe I talked myself into such a long slow never ending bind off choice.  Once I am into the bind off I have to talk myself into going to bed, staying in bed, following basic hygiene practices and using the toilet before I leave a stream all over the house.

At last I am done. Well it still needs a bath but please don't burst my happy bubble.

Now to choose the next project.  I need something I can knit at the hockey game tonight.  These are the final few games before the playoffs.  The 73's are currently in 2nd place in the league.  Essex, Lakeshore and Amherstburg have been battling it out recently for 1st place.  The various teams are acquiring players and releasing players; getting the final lineup for the playoffs.  Whenever possible, Hubby and I have been attending the away games.  Tonight we are driving to Amherstburg.

Sunday, 27 November 2016

Somewhat Random

1.  When I want to put off doing something I find all sorts of other things to do.  I don't get what I am putting off done right away but I feel like I have accomplished something.  In the end I do the right thing and complete what I should have started with.  So today I felt I needed to blog but was stuck on what I wanted to write about.  I did not quite run out of other things to do but my house is in better shape this afternoon.  I stopped when I decided I would just write about a few random things.

2. Done while coughing and sneezing over a week ago one dishcloth.

From the Leisure Arts book, Color Splash Dishcloths, #3 Soap 'em Up.  Knit with Lily Sugar 'N Cream cotton bought at the 2013 Listowel tent sale by the cone.  I bought the book back in October when I stopped into Mary Maxim in London for a little inspiration.  The sheep were a Christmas gift from a friend and they frequently sneek into my photos.  They are so cute I had to take more than one.

3. Finished and photographed one pair of socks for a friend.

4. Since I finished the socks, I needed some simple knitting for the hockey game on Tuesday.  I started the lapghan.  It needs to be 36" x 48".  There is no pattern, I am just making it up as I go using various sizes of domino squares.

The yarn is Paton's Decor (75% acrylic, 25% wool) in colourway "Mountain Top Varg".  I assume it is discontinued as this has been in my stash since the 2008 Listowel Tent Sale.  Hubby picked it up for me on a day trip on his motorcycle. [I have stash that is ageing, just like me]

5. I needed a simple project as the other one in progress is a pair of socks from the yarn left over from the Building Block Shawl.

The pattern is Ripple Socks from Socks Socks Socks by Knitter's Magazine.  The pattern is not difficult, but I do need to concentrate - incompatible with cheering on a hockey team.

6. Building Blocks is done.  I made the small size which is still generous.  However it also meant lots of leftovers.  See 5. above.

Hubby did a photo shoot for me outside.  He says he doesn't have to be good (he really does not know anything about photography) he just has to take lots of pictures.  I put the camera on automatic just for him.

7. Next week I am taking a weaving class at the Little Red Mitten in St. Thomas.  I have to go with the loom warped and ready for the class.

Its a 20" Ashford Knitters Loom in case you were wondering. Most of the tying on was done this morning as I procrastinated.

8.  My Christmas decorating is done.

Yes, this is really all I do.  Only the one Christmas cactus is blooming.  Half of it fell off in the summer when I brought home my great-grandmother's cactus.  What is left is producing lots of buds and blossoms.  My great-grandmother's cactus has produced a lot of new greenery this summer but I can only see one bud on the entire plant.  Maybe it is still too early for it.

9. I finally finished the fingerless gloves I started back in September.  I consider them a failed experiment.  They were too small for me and the design on the back did not turn out as I hoped but I finished them anyway.

I thought my boss would like them.  She likes bright colours and they are very colourful.  She took one look, squealled then put them on.  They fit her perfectly.  She is absolutely delighted with them.  She texted me yesterday to say that every time she looks for them to wear, she finds them on her son's hands.  His favourite colour is green. His hands are warm and he can text at the same time. I texted back that I was happy the gloves were a hit.  She texted back that they are "IN DEMAND".

This is why I finish not frog.

10.  As of writing this the Essex 73's are in third place in the league just 3 points behind Blenheim which is in first.  I am not concerned, as the top 8 go on to play in the playoffs.  There are only 9 teams in the league.

11.  My cold is still hanging on.  I am calling this one Nigel.

Sunday, 20 November 2016

Best Laid Plans

I had a wonderful blog post planned in my mind.  I was going to do a photo shoot to show you the Building Block Shawl.  I took your comments to heart and cast off for the small version.  I was going to photograph the lovely face cloth I knitted up and the swatches for the next big project.  I was going to go to Michaels and pick up the two colours I need for the afghan I am planning.  I was going to have a lovely photo of the socks I started  from the shawl leftovers.  Too bad none of these things happened.  I have come down with a nasty cold again and all my energy is going into just surviving.  I managed making some soup and that is about it.

Here's hoping I stop getting sick and get on with knitting.

Sunday, 6 November 2016

Mojo I Miss You

Since I came home from my trip to Newfoundland, I feel like I left my knitting mojo back in St. John's.  I have been knitting but more often than not it is just sitting in my lap not being worked on.  I had high hopes that the current project  would rekindle my desires.  Sadly it is one I am not enjoying.  Don't get me wrong.  The pattern is lovely.  I love the yarn I chose but it just is not sparking me to finish.  I refuse to start something else as I am afraid if I stop knitting on it I will set it aside and never finish.

Here is my progress on the Building Blocks, a mystery knit along from Stephen West.  I have participated in his mystery knit-alongs before and each time was fun and exciting.  Each clue brought something new I was not expecting.  I could not put the knitting down.  I needed to finish the current clue before the next came out.  When I knit the Colour Craving mystery knit along, I was so enthused I knit two over the course of the knit along.  Not this time.  Here I am just starting Clue 3 and the final clue has been out now for 10 days.

I have to decide if I want a small, medium or large shawl.  The small ends after the current section.  If I stop, the shawl will be approximately 68" wide.  If I go one more section, then it will be approximately 78" wide.  I think I have enough yarn to make the large but will it be too big for wearing?  Decisions decisions!

I have been knitting at hockey games.  I have to pay too much attention while knitting this shawl so I have been working on socks.  I started the second sock on the drive to Blenheim on Sunday evening. (Hubby drove)  Essex won 4-2.  I got some more done Tuesday night at the home game where Essex lost 7-5 to Amherstburg.  Hubby and I drove to Dresden Friday night for another exciting game where Essex lost 5-4 in overtime.

My vanilla sock recipe using Shelridge Farm Soft Touch Heather (85% wool, 15% nylon) in colour 08007.  The yarn was purchased so long ago I can't remember when or where.

I can't make it to Tuesday's game so these socks too have stalled for another week.

At a game a couple of weeks ago I picked up a new project bag.  Hubby thinks this story is embarrassing; I think the story is funny so here goes.

Regularly at the home games there are give-aways from sponsors.  I was sitting in section 110 and the give-away was some bags.  Some were from Ken Knapp Ford.  Others were orange bags from the 73's team.  A member of the 73's management started throwing rolled up bags into section 110.  I was not lucky enough to catch one but the lady sitting to my left down the row did.  She unwrapped the elastic from the tube to open up the bag.  She looked at it and I could see from the look on her face she was at a loss to see how she could possibly use this tiny bag.   It was way too small for groceries.

She looked in my direction.  I smiled at her then looked down at my knitting.  I looked back at her smiled again with raised eyebrows and eyes wide.  I held up my knitting for her to see; looked down and up at her again.  She looked at the bag then at my knitting.  She raised the bag a little and again looked at me; at my knitting.  I nodded and she handed me the the bag.  Living with Reba for the last 13 years taught me a few things.  I told the story to Hubby. He snorted, rolled his eyes and exclaimed, "You begged like a dog?  I am glad I wasn't there!"

Perfect size for holding the Building Blocks shawl and pattern.  It says Ken Knapp on the other side.

Sunday, 16 October 2016

I'm Back

When I last posted I was not sure what I wanted to do for the 2017 Harrow Fair and whether to continue this blog.  My mother and I went to Newfoundland (had a lovely time) but I came home with a nasty virus.   Then I accidentally ate some gluten  and for the last few weeks I have been incapacitated.

I am now feeling better and plan to continue this blog.  I may not post as regularly as last year but I think I still have a few things to say and hopefully make you laugh in the process.

For the 2017 Harrow Fair the plan is to again enter items.  I don't plan on entering each and every category again - at least not until I fully retire and have the time.  The plan is to knit what I want to knit and to concentrate on the categories I could not enter last year but can this year and the ones where I did not win first prize in 2016.  So of course my first project is one that doesn't fit this plan.

On the sidebar you can link to a progress report for 2017.

I hope you will join me on this latest journey.  There will be knitting content and I plan to do some sewing this year.  I want to dust off my rigid heddle loom.  I stocked up on undyed yarn at the Woodstock Fleece Festival yesterday and  plan to heat up the dye pot for some colour play.

I started the Stephen West mystery knit-a-long "Building Blocks".  I chose the yarns in St John's Newfoundland at Cast On Cast Off.  I wanted to capture the colours from the trip for this project.  I wanted to purchase the yarn while the colours were still vivid in my mind.  Therefore I walked the 4 kilometres to the store from the hotel.  My mother stayed behind and took a nap.

I did some knitting on the trip.

The above is a no-pattern hat knit with Briggs & Little Hand Painted Softspun in Eggplant.  I purchased the yarn on the trip at the gift shop at the Grenfell Centre in St Anthony, Newfoundland.

The socks above and below are from my basic sock recipe I created.    The yarn above is Patons Kroy Sock Jacquard in the colourway Summer Moss Jacquard - now discontinued.  Hubby picked it up for me at the 2015 Listowel tent sale.  The colours in the photo are much nicer than actual.

The  above striped yarn is from my stash.  I only had one ball and I seemed to have lost the ball band. It is likely discontinued as I think I purchased it at the Needle Emporium Tent Sale several years ago.   The red is Paton's Kroy in the colourway red.  I bought this yarn sometime last year at the London Mary Maxim store on sale.

The socks below were started on the trip but finished after coming home.  Patons Kroy Socks FX in Camel Colours - can't remember where or when I acquired this yarn.

The above photos were taken on Signal Hill in St. John's.  I had to hunker down below the rocks to keep from being blown away.  Luckily the wind was blowing away from the cliffs otherwise I might have gone over diving for my knit wear as it blew away.

Here they are finished.  I am keeping these babies for myself.

On the trip, there was knitwear just about in every gift store.  I loved so much of it but managed to limit my purchases to these.  My fellow passengers thought it was funny that the knitter on the bus was buying knitted items as souvenirs.  Makes perfect sense to me.  I admire the knitter's work.  Why wouldn't I want to support their efforts?

The sweater I ordered from NONIA should arrive in a few weeks.

I had this idea on how to use some of the stripy sock yarn I wasn't fond of.  While the idea was good it did not come out how I wanted.  Just the ends have to be tied in and it will be done.  These are too small for me so I am looking for a recipient.