Friday, February 27, 2015

Knitting Catch Up

I've taken a bit of a break from knitting the last couple of months.  I did so much the last half of last year that just needed that break.  

Posting the rest of the knitted items I did for Christmas / birthday presents.

Matching Sweaters for little sisters - Age 2.5 and 8 months.
Knitted with yarn from my stash - washable acrylics.  
Sweater for 2 year old - using washable acrylic bulky yarn .
Mary Maxim pattern and wool.
Fingerless Mitts - knitted with the softest Alpaca yarn I bought while on a field trip with my
Knitters Guild to an Alpaca Farm.   Photo doesn't do this yarn justice.   It's a beautiful
warm chocolate brown.

Cabled slouchy Hat - knitted with a washable wool blend

Little sweater for a 6 month old - using an acrylic yarn
for easy washing

Monday, February 2, 2015

Abundance of Kale

It's a snow day here today.  The sun has finally come out and the storm has passed, leaving over a foot of snow to shovel.

I've been thinking about spring and gardening again.  After taking down our one and only old and very large tree in the back yard, I will need to re-think about what to plant in the way of veggies.  For so many years our tree gave a lot of shade and was able to grow cool weather veggies, not requiring much sun.  Now we'll not have any shade in our back yard.   Perhaps now I will have much better luck with tomatoes !

This past summer we had an abundance of Kale.  Curly green, curly red, red Russian and Dinosaur.  At the end of the season I filled a large wheelbarrow from our small garden.  I froze some, made kale chips but still had so much left over.   I saw on someone else's blog the idea (can't remember where) of dehydrating and making kale powder and thought to give it a try.   After washing and dehydrating the remainder of the kale, I put the dried kale into a blender and ground it up fine.

All the remaining kale I had now fits into a couple of mason jars of kale powder.   It takes up little space and has been so handy.  I used it in scrambled eggs, meat patties, meat loaf, soups, stews, smoothies.  The possibilities are endless.

Thursday, January 15, 2015

Sweaters for Teddy

Last summer, our Knitter's Guild took on a project to knit for the Alzheimer's Society.

Because I participated in the project, I was able to purchase the bear at a reduced cost.

My granddaughter will be turning two in a couple of weeks and I knitted up a couple of sweaters for Teddy Bear and a matching sweater for her.   She loves the story of the Teddy Bear Picnic.

Sunday, January 11, 2015

My One Word ..... PEACE

Do you set New Year's Resolutions ? 
Do start with good intentions ? 
Do you stick with your resolutions ? 

Over the years I've made New Year's resolutions - some stuck, some were forgotten quickly, or I made too many that it became overwhelming.  Other years I've set goals and gave myself some challenges which seemed to work better.

This year I'm trying something different.   

I'm reading "My One Word"  by Mike Ashcraft & Rachel Olsen.   The concept is to lose those long lists of resolutions and choose just one word that "represents what you most hope God will do in you, and focus on it for an entire year"

My One Word is PEACE 

I spent the better part of this weekend deciding on my One Word.  In the process, realized that I've been search for peace for a long time.  This year I will focus on my One Word.  This something I haven't done before.  By focusing on this one word, other areas of life, I think, will fall into place. 

We live in a crazy, fast paced world and so many are stressed.   My workplace is going through tremendous change this year and being the major breadwinner for my family, peace is what I need to help me get through it.     

I'm looking forward to My One Word journey this year and where it will take me. 

Come to me all who are weary and I will give you strength.  Matthew 11:28
For He himself is our Peace.  Ephesians 2:14
Peace I leave you, my peace I give unto you ... John 14:27
A heart of peace gives life to the body.  Proverbs 14:30 
Seek peace and pursue it.  Proverbs 34:14
The peace of God which surpasses all understanding ...Philippians 4:17

it does not mean to be in a place
where there is no noise, trouble
or hard work.  it means 
to be in the midst of those things and still and
be calm in your heart.

Friday, January 9, 2015

Knitting Project - Fingerless Mitts

I'm still sharing items that were hand knitted as gifts this past Christmas.  I couldn't share before as would spoil the surprise for those who were receiving and see my blog.

This Pattern came from the 2014 Knitting Calendar, which gave a new pattern for almost every day of the year.   This pattern was November 3 - 6, called Oxford Mitts by Amanda Lilley.  They have a fold-back flap that buttons and learned how to knit a button hole loop for the button.

Pattern called for sports weight yarn, 137 yds - 2 x 50g balls.  I used 1 x 100 gm ball of Berroco Vintage DK - machine washable blend of Wool, Acrylic and Nylon.  

Vintage buttons came from my mothers' button box.

Wednesday, January 7, 2015

Knitting Project - Cowl

At a our Knitter's Guild monthly meetings we hold a raffle.  Proceeds of the raffle go towards program and guest speakers. 

I won the raffle at a meeting a few months back --  A beautiful skein of hand painted Misti Alpaca, Baby Me Boo !    50% Baby Alpaca, 30% Merino Wool, and 20% Bamboo.

I wasn't sure what I was going to make with it.  I've been on Ravelry for a while now, but wasn't using it to it's full potential.   I learned you can just put into the search your yarn and it will search the patterns available for that particular yarn. 

I found an easy free cowl pattern called Convertible Scarf.  Was an easy quick project that can be worn around the neck or pulled up over your head and worn as a hat. 

Tuesday, January 6, 2015

Knitting Project - More Socks

Using my old faithful sock pattern, I knitted up a set of family socks for my daughter/family this Christmas. 

I learned a new cast on method that gives a nice stretchy cuff.  Great for top down sock knitting which keeps it's shape.  My usual cast-on method didn't stretch much.   The "very stretchy cast-on method" tutorial can be found on youtube.

Monday, January 5, 2015

Knitting Project - Socks

I like knitting socks - for a number of reasons .....

1)  They knit up fairly quickly.
2)  It is a very portable project ie, I can carry them with me wherever I go.  The needles take up little space and fit into my purse or small bag.  I can knit in waiting rooms, etc.
3)  You can knit on a plane :).   My recent trip took me across the country (over 4500 km) and spent an entire day in airports/two planes/bus and could knit all the way. 
4)  My family likes my hand knit socks and was told that my socks were the only ones that didn't wear out during a planting season.  I have two family members who are tree planters in northern British Columbia during the summer season.

This Christmas I knitted five pairs for family members.    I have an old standby pattern that I have used for years that I know almost by heart now.

Sunday, January 4, 2015


For the first time I took a trip away for Christmas to visit family for almost three weeks.  I travelled over 4,500 km to a part of our country that I had never been before.

For the first time I didn't cook and plan for Christmas dinner and because I left home well before Christmas, all my gifts were made and wrapped well ahead of time and baking done early.   For the first time, it was the most relaxing Christmas spent.  No rushing and no stress, no last minute preparedness.    I left on the trip with no agenda, accept for my flight itineraries and anticipation of spending time with family. 

For the first ten days of the trip I slept almost ten hours each night - unusual for me - so I must have needed it.  Since the northern part of the country I was in, the sun didn't rise until almost 9 am and set around 3:30pm in the afternoon, the darkness sure helped with sleeping.  I didn't have an alarm clock, I didn't have an agenda or somewhere I needed to be - just to enjoy what the day had to offer.    I left behind the stresses of my world behind.  I didn't think about work for almost the entire trip and the stresses which work brings.  For the last few months, as our company has gone through many changes, I've watched long term colleagues being let go as their jobs disappear and wonder if my turn will also come soon.  I can't say I didn't think about it occasionally, but my mind wasn't surrounded by it as it was at home and in the office.

For three weeks, I didn't read a newspaper, or listen to the news.  We are living in crazy times and I didn't realize how much the news of the world was pulling me down.   Instead, I had fun playing with my almost two year old granddaughter in the snow, building snowmen, reading stories, baking cake, making paper snowflakes, and taking walks outside. I was even able to calm my brain long enough to read without distraction.  My world slowed down and feel like I've been away for a long time. 

Tomorrow it's back to work.  As I write this it's freezing rain outside and the trees are coated with ice and reminds me of the ice storms we have had the last couple of years around this time of year.   I reflect on my time away and want to keep the slowness and calm that I experienced the last few weeks and what can I do to keep that.

Saw my first moose while out hiking
Sunset on the mountain

Hiking in the Canadian Rockies

 Amazing views while out hiking that just took my breath away.  
I just stood there for a long time just looking, breathing the fresh crisp air
 and taking it all in.  

Saturday, December 13, 2014

Knitting Projects - Mitts

The nieces and nephews this year are receiving mitts for Christmas.  When I asked my sister what the kids would like, her response was they don't need anything, but would LOVE anything hand made.    Other years I have knitted them socks, slippers and scarves.  All of which are easy to mail.

So this year it's mitts... custom made to their hands and taste.  I used an old Patons pattern - mitts on 2 needles and added a cable on the green pair and some rows of seed stitch on the charcoal pair.  Yarn used was a washable wool blend.

The gold fish are back inside after being outside all summer in the rain barrels eating mosquito larvae.  They are much bigger than they were when I first got them four years ago. 

Sunday, December 7, 2014

Simple Joys

There are some things in life that are so simple yet give much joy.

The laughter of a child,

my rosemary plant blooming for the first time
Christmas Cactus starting to bloom
a new shoot on my orchid..... which means it will be flowering soon
My shamrock blooming
a new ball of yarn

Friday, December 5, 2014

Knitting Projects - Scarf

I'm sharing the first of the Christmas knitting - a reversible easy to knit winter scarf.

This pattern is a free Ravelry download - called The Dudester Scarf.  Knitted in worsted weight with Size 7 (4.5 mm) needles.   I used two skeins of washable wool yarn by "Vintage".  

The pattern is easy to memorize and knitted up quickly.


Thursday, December 4, 2014

Count Down is On...

Christmas knitting count down is in full swing.  This year I have knitted a number of items, but can't share all yet as some family members do see my posts. 

Christmas knitting started earlier this year as I have family far and wide and needed to post them last week so they would arrive on time.  For those closer to home, I'm almost done.

December comes too quickly and the month is too busy between year-end activities at work and other commitments.  Starting early this year and keeping things simple has lessened the hustle-bustle and stress and allow time to really enjoy and remember the real reason for this season.

Pin it