Sunday, 28 February 2016

Twenty Seven Weeks and Three Days to Go

That's how long I have to complete my entries for the 2016 Harrow Fair.  I have 4 on the go that need to be completed and 22 entries that I have not yet started.  Can I finish one a week?  I keep trying and here is progress this week.

The baby sweater is not quite assembled.  Only the sleeve seams and buttons to do.

The gansey upper chest decoration is started and I am at the point of separating the front and back.  It is a fun knit but not suited to hockey knitting.

For Tuesday's game against Mooretown I started these.

These are felted slippers Version II - Elf Slippers from the Paton's booklet Next Steps Four Socks and Slippers.  The yarn is Classic Wool from my stash.  Once the collar is finished I will toss them in the washing machine to felt.  I have little control over the felting process so there is the chance they will not fit the intended recipient.

The last felted  pair I made ended up too big for me so I gave them to Hubby.  He never wore them so I gave them to my brother who loved them and wore them a lot.  Too bad one accidentally got mixed up in the laundry and felted some more.  He now has a mixed matched set.  I suggested he wash the other one and give the smaller pair to a daughter.  I am counting on these remaining big enough to fit Tony.  Fingers crossed.

Essex won 2-1.  They have gone on to win 4-1 in Mooretown on Wednesday  8-1 last night in Essex.  There may only be one more game in this series tomorrow night in Mooretown.  Hubby says if they are going to keep this pattern going, Essex will have to win 16-1.

Hubby and I did not attend the game last night.  We had made other plans to see Menopause The Musical at the Colosseum at the Windsor Casino.  I wanted some simple knitting. Ta Da!

It may be simple but I made a mistake early on and it needs to be ripped out.  I noticed the error as the house lights went down so I could not fix it and could not knit on it during the show.  Didn't matter.  I was laughing so hard I could not have knit anyway.  I loved the show.  Hubby thought it was a one-joke show and went on too long.

My original plan was to knit the Swallowtail Shawl.  This has been on my to-do list since I first picked up the Fall 2006 issue of Interweave Knits. For weeks now I have had the magazine out, the needles marking the page and the yarn picked out.  I did not cast on. I don't know why.

Earlier this week one of my friends in the Essex Library Group on Ravelry suggested we have a knit-along for this pattern.  It can be done in lace weight and I checked that I have enough  in my stash of the Magic Garden Classic 100% Polwarth yarn I was planning for the Swallowtail. I think it will be fun to knit as a group.  The endless stockinette at the beginning of the shawl will be perfect for hockey knitting.  I am in!  Swallowtail can wait.  Turns out it was only the yarn screaming to be knit up.  It was just getting too yappy.  The balls have quieted now that I have started -  even though I have to rip it out.

I set up for the photos for this post and left stuff in place when I started writing.  Reba decided to take advantage.  She has always liked to lay on my knitting stuff.  Her earliest puppy photos are of her asleep on my project bag.  Here she is today.

2016 Harrow Fair Link

Sunday, 21 February 2016

Fun Times!

Sorry for my absence last week.  My mother's birthday is in February.  She decided to return from Florida and celebrate her birthday at home.  So a party was quickly arranged.  I travelled to Niagara to join in the festivities.  There were three birthday girls in attendance; my Ma, my one year old first cousin twice removed and my sister's sister-in-law.  Cousins came from Michigan to surprise my mother and  there were children, grandchildren, nieces, husbands and wives of various family members.  Hubby stayed home with Reba.  She had a vet appointment for her annual checkup and shots and I already had plans for Sunday that did not include Hubby.

I left home for the drive to the party on Saturday morning.  It was minus 14 C and sunny when I left.  I got to Dutton, it was minus 18C and I was in a snow storm.  It normally takes 15 minutes at the most to get from Dutton to London.  In a snowstorm it was more than an hour.  I pulled into the Southside Grill in London, exhausted and hungry.  I called my brother;  asked him the weather at his end.  It was minus 14C and sunny.  Could he please determine when I would drive out of this mess?   If I had to travel much further in this storm, I was going to turn around and go home. A few google clicks and he told me I should be out of the storm by Woodstock.  I told him to tell Ma I would be late.

Turned out I drove out at Ingersoll, 10 minutes before Woodstock. I was only an hour late.  I had planned to be early.

I was grateful to be heading east on the 401.  The west-bound lanes east of London were multi-car pile up after multi car pile up.  I hope there were no other emergencies in the area.  It looked like all the fire engines, ambulances and police cars were there on the highway.

For me the party was an opportunity for future recipients to model their knitwear.

Here is my brother Tony.  He put on the sweater and exclaimed all he needed now was a pipe.

You can't tell from the photo but but he is 6 feet 5 inches tall.  It is a big sweater.  Fits him nicely I think.

This is my neice's boyfriend Cody.  Before I started the vest I made sure to ask him whether he planned on breaking up with her.  I did not need the boyfriend curse applying to them leaving me with a man's vest after the fair.  I tend to be very forthright.  And just for the record, while I don't know him very well, he is a lovely person and they have been together for 6 years.  He says he likes the vest.  He has never owned one before.  I think it fits him nicely.

I brought a sweater and hat set for the littlest birthday girl from my "just in case" drawer.  The sweater was one of my entries for the 2015 Harrow Fair.  I got a second place ribbon for it.  I also knit a matching hat but that was not part of the entry.  There is no child's sweater with matching hat category.  The sweater fits her nicely too.  All the adults thought the hat was adorable.

This is what the birthday girl thought.

I just love how adults hang around and look adoringly at young children.  The littlest birthday girl was the centre of attention.

I am not the least bit offended that she preferred the pink tissue paper to the hat.

I was too busy knitting on the gansey and saving Spencer from being stepped on to take party photos.  However, my cousin sent me this one.  I am related to everyone in the photo.

Sunday I headed back to London.  Weeks ago a friend and I arranged to go to the production of 42nd Street at the Budweiser Gardens.  On Saturday London got at least a foot and a half of snow.  Sunday was a cold but sunny day.  The snow on the roofs of the buildings reminded me of the boiled icing my mother used to make for birthday cakes.  It was white and smooth and sometimes looked like it was sliding off the top.  There was no safe place to pull over and stop for photos of the roofs but I did take some shrubbery photos when I paused for lunch before the show.

My friend and I had arranged to meet at her office an hour before the show started.  We could leave one vehicle there and drive together to the venue.  It would be easier to park one vehicle rather than two.  We would have plenty of time to find a place to park, have a glass of wine, relax and socialize before the show.  Now before I tell the rest of this story, I want you to know that my friend is the most organized, capable and intelligent person I know.  She had arranged for the parking lot at her office to be plowed out on the Sunday.  Too bad after he left, the City snowplow dumped two feet of snow onto he end of the driveway making it impossible for us to get in.  No problem, she came early and unlocked the building to locate the shovel.  She had time to make a path.  Unfortunately, she forgot about the extra security lock she had installed on the office door which has to be separately disabled after the door is opened.  The door closed as she stepped outside locking her purse with the office keys, car keys, cell phone and show tickets inside.

I arrive.  I think the situation is funny simply because it is not me.  This is exactly the sort of thing that happens to me.  No matter how well I plan, fate likes to whack me up the side of my head.  We sat in my car with my cell phone and the car's blue tooth calling 411 for telephone numbers of everyone who had keys to the building. She had no one's phone number as they are all stored in her cell phone inside her purse inside the building.   This is a Sunday of a holiday weekend.  Of course no one is in their house.  Chances are they are outside shoveling snow or screening calls.  No one is going to recognize my cell phone number.

I don't know who's bright idea it was to switch the 411 phone number lookup service to voice recognition software.  If I ever meet him.  I am convinced it is a him.  I am going to whack him up the side of the head and ask what was he thinking.  We are two women with standard middle Canadian accents.  The kind of accent that everyone in the world whether they speak English well or not understands.  The accent that gets hired by American broadcasters because it sounds accentless.  We were not asking for unusual names.  They were simple standard common names.  The 411 system could not understand us at all.  So each time we called, we had to go through the frustration of dealing with software that was useless and then wait for the system to connect us to a live human being who had absolutely no trouble understanding us on the first try.  It reminded me of the episode of the Big Bang Theory where Kripke illustrates the short-comings of Siri, Apple's voice recognition software.  Kripe has a speech impediment. We don't.

Eventually a co-worker came to our rescue.  We made it to the show - just minutes to spare.  The show was great.  Dinner was great and I made it home safely without further snow.

Segueing back to the birthday party - I managed to get the littlest birthday girl to sit still long enough to measure her feet.  Did you notice her orange socks above? I did.  I got home and cast on these.

Son Socks from Interweave Knits Fall 2006 issue.  The yarn is Kroy .  The orange colour is from my earliest experiments with natural dying.  I used beets.  The colour will fade quickly.  Hopefully not as fast as the girl will outgrow these.  I added a little extra length and width in the foot from the measurements I took.

The gansey looks the same as last time but longer.  I am now at the point where I am about to divide the piece for the front and back yokes.

I am almost done the hooded baby sweater.  Since I took this picture the hood is knitted and I am adding on the white ribbing edge.  It should be finished this week.

I have completed 16 items not counting the one above.  This is more than I have entered into the fair in any other year.  I should feel pleased.  Instead, I feel like I am so far behind and should have completed at least half of the entries by now.  More and more it looks like I am going to have to ask my boss for all of July off.  I refuse to give up.

The knitting is almost done on the hooded sweater.  Most of the work  left is finishing the thing.  This leaves me with one project on the needles and I am starting the part that needs concentration.  It will not be suitable hockey knitting.  I don't know what to start next.  I need to be ready for the next game on Tuesday.  Essex starts the next playoff series against Mooretown.  Mooretown finally beat Lakeshore in the 7th game of their series last night.  Essex beat Alvinston in four straight games and had more than a week off waiting to see who they play next.  Poor Alvinston.  They only scored 1 goal in the whole series.

Sunday, 7 February 2016

Quickie Update

The Big Green Monster otherwise known as the Levity Shawl is done.

This is laid out on a double bed and the shawl is so big it hangs off the side.

Hubby and I went out to Sadler's Park for a photoshoot.  Reba got a bit of a walk and I got a few extra steps.

I love how the Canada geese behind me pay absolutely no attention to us.  It is like they see this kind of activity every day.

Now for a little close up of the shawl details:

I love that I can completely wrap this shawl around me.

The baby sweater is growing.  It is knit in one piece to the underarm.  One front is done and I am working on the back.

A little close up of the texture pattern.

The gansey has grown a little.

I only got a little knitting done on the gansey this week.  Most of my knitting time went to finishing the green shawl.  I planned on getting a couple of hours of good plain knitting time at Tuesday's 73's game.  It did not quite work out as planned.  You cannot knit and text at the same time.  Both use the same fingers.  Hubby was on Pelee Island.  I was at the game and we settled on me texting him whenever something big happens in the game.  So I text the scores, who scored, major penalties and anything else that is exciting.

For the first two periods I felt like I was constantly texting goals.  Essex scored 9 goals in the first two periods.  Alvinston - zip.  I texted Hubby that if there was one more goal, I was going home.  No goals in the third period at all (not for lack of trying).  I stayed to the end of the game.

Essex won Friday's game in Alvinston 6-0.  The next game is back in Essex on Tuesday.  Maybe I will get a little more done on the sweater then.

I am having a weekend away this upcoming weekend and may not be able to post on Sunday as usual.