Breathing Easier

We are taking our West Coast/Vancouver Island breakaway.  The sound of ocean and the salty air is peeling away my layers of stress.  We love this place!

We’re staying at our usual place; we’d missed coming up here for a couple of years and it’s always great to be back.  The poopers are good travelers; this is Chopper’s first vacation.  It’s a bit of an upheaval for him – he has only been with us a couple of weeks and now we’re moving around and staying in new places every night.  Except for this longer stretch of nights here.

We love the familiarity of coming here – we like to see what has changed since our last visit.  i.e. the place we planned to go for lunch, we drove around looking for it and finally realized that the burned out foundation was all that was left of it. :-(

Taking things easy, trying to not think about work (and once I get back I have only two weeks more before I’m done forever!):

Always time for handstands!

This time of year is awesome – still nice in the afternoons, but a nice autumnal chill in the evenings.

Cox Bay, stairstep hounds

Banff National Park

Banff National Park

And on our way through Vancouver we had a quick visit and lunch with Ande!

Hams R Us!

We’ll see her again next week for a good visit.

The weather forecast says it’s going to rain tomorrow for sure, maybe Saturday.  We got caught in the rain on our beach walk this afternoon.  We all have rain coats, so we’ll be better prepared tomorrow!

the ER will not stop us from going to Denny’s

LOL, not me, but my friend.  Friday night we headed down to Saskatoon to meet up with some of the Saskatoon Roller Derby League girls for an evening skate.

skating on the river path

skating on the river path

Rock’m Schock’m took a nasty spill so we had a slight detour to the ER for an x-ray, just to make sure nothing was broken.  Like a trooper, she insisted we still go to Denny’s after!  We worked up an appetite with the skating and then 2+ hours in the ER.  (Denny’s is our post-derby tradition.)

I finished that little granny square hat.  The sewing together took me a couple of evenings.  I wasn’t as precise as I could have been, so if I was going to make it again, I’d pay more attention to that.  The pattern calls for the squares to be whipstitched together.  I tried that, but it didn’t look like a nice join.  So instead I slip-stitched them together and that made a nicer join.

Tesselations Hat

Ravelry project page is here. I used Regia Goal sock yarn.  The colourway was a little too short or too long because most of the squares had only a small bit of the second colour.

Chopper is settling in nicely.  He is slowly learning that he doesn’t have to wake us up at 6 a.m. every day.  He walks well and gets along with Ava and Rufie.  He really likes Ava and follows her around the house to lay next to her.

Herrooo? Are you awake?!

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Is this spot taken?

Once I’d finished the hat, I didn’t have time to work on anything for a few evenings.  I started working on a cotton market bag.  

I love the colour of this yarn!

The pattern is “Rust Goes Green Market Bag” and it’s a lot of fun to work on!

I also picked up my Maeve shrug last night to knit on for a while.  Am soooo looking forward to the increase in knitting/crochet time once I’m retired.

The weather these past few days has cooled down delightfully.  No more a/c required in the house; we can have the windows open to the fresh air and breezes.  Counting down the days until the start of our holidays.

Mobile Testing

image

Crocheyyyyy there are a lot of ends to deal with

This hat. I spent a couple of hours last night piecing it together.  Still not done.

Testing the wordpress app from my phone.

Just more dog poop

So the big fella went to Edmonton last week and had supper with some of our greyt friends.  They were fostering a new boy from Dubuque, Iowa.  He was so smitten with this little pup that we had to bring him home!

Welcome home, Chopper!

Roc a By Apache

This fella is only two years old, so still very puppyish.  His racing weight was about 73, so he’ll gain some more as he settles into his retirement.  He’ll likely be Apollo’s size.  He’s just a bit taller than Rufus (and of course towers over Ava).

He is a real sweetie and enjoys the company of Rufus and Ava.  He is still on “track” hours, so 6 a.m. is “everyone should be awake because I am” time.  He has checked out all the toys and played vigorously with them all.  There have been a few casualties that we’ve had to remove for safety reasons.

Exhibit A

Poor Squeaky Chicken was garroted and I was worried about the pieces coming out.

More pics as we get to know him! 

More news and updates

How can it have been a month since my last post?!  I intended to write another one before now.

I got ants in my pants to crochet something – anything! – so I tried a hat pattern I’d seen online (Facebook, Pinterest, Ravelry).  It was cute because it had a skull motif, but the pattern was so poorly written, for someone like me who is a fledgling crocheter, I couldn’t figure out what they wanted me to do.  I tried it several times (4 or 5) and gave up.  I searched and found a cute pattern called Little Sister Hat.  It was pretty easy to follow, except I made it too big.  Once I figured that out, I ripped it out and started the smaller size.

“Little Sister” hat pattern

I used some really lovely Madelinetosh “tosh dk” yarn that I’d picked up on holidays last year.  It has really subtle gradations of grey and I quite like it.  I dug around on Pinterest and found directions to make a little flower motif to attach.

There are a couple of other projects I’d like to try.  I’m working on another hat that is constructed with granny squares.  That one was a trial – I started it with some lovely bamboo blend sock yarn but it was so splitty it was driving me mental.  I’ll use the yarn for sock or a hat, but for crocheting it was aggravating me.  I dug out some Regia sock yarn from my stash and that’s working better.

This might end up being a prototype. The colour stripes are blotching in weird places.

I found a pattern for a cute, not too difficult “market” bag using dishcloth cotton.  That’s next, too.  I still have a pair of socks in my knitting basket and that Maeve shrug.  So no shortage of things to work on, just need the time.

Segue – I have given notice at my work-job and will be “retiring” effective October 31.  (So if you know anyone looking for a job that is hyper-organized, super administratively skilled, has dazzling computer skills … ) I am extremely excited and am counting the days.  It will be so nice to have some free time to just sit and knit, if that’s what I choose to do for the day.  The big fella is retired and has his routine, so I think I will be happy as well in my upcoming change in routine!

I’ve been working hard at Crossfit.  Our derby league slows down for most of the summer, but I’ve been busy traveling the province reffing derby.  There is a real shortage of officials (anyone want to put on the quad skates and stripes?!)  I’m currently doing a six-week strength program at our Crossfit and fitting in a couple more WODs a week.  We do some outdoor skates (16 km) and bike rides (25 km) to mix it up.

I decided the take the clippers to my hair a few weeks ago.  I love it!  It’s easy peasy!

Instagram-filtered to death to smooth out the wrinkles!

The poopers are doing fine.  They don’t like the heat and are content to hang out in the air conditioning.  We go for slow ambles with Ava and Rufus and then the big fella will take Rufie out for a longer walk.  Ava is 10.5 and not too interested in long walks.  She has limpy days when her hip seems to bother her, but those are far apart.  Rufie is 5 now and still acts like a silly pup.

playing around with the fish eye lens

I got a new fish eye lens and have had some fun playing with it.  I am looking forward to having more time for photography and using my flickr account more.

Count down is on until our vacation, then when we get back I have only two more weeks of work until I’m “retired”.  Woo!

Knitting Round Up

Since we last met, I have managed to eek out a little knitting time.  (Actually, now that I look at it, it’s a pretty pathetic result for seven months of knitting time.)

I made some socks using some vintage Regia sock yarn (Rav link).

Regia “Nation Color” sock yarn #5398, my usual sock pattern

Then I made this cute hat for a friend, the Nola Cloche:

It’s a really lovely purply-blue!

(click through on these Rav links for more details and photos)

I had two pairs of socks to made for belated Christmas presents:

Socks for my dad:

ONline Linie 7 Supersocke 6fach/6ply Tweed, my usual men’s sock pattern for 6-ply

And these for my mom:

SweetGeorgia Yarns CashLuxe Fine sock yarn (very luxurious!)

And as I think I mentioned earlier, I had started the Eeek sweater for me.  It took me five months.  Part of the problem was having no time to knit, but also I had finished the body THEN tried it on.  Way too big.  I was knitting for the size I used to wear.  Ha.  Not a bad problem to have.

Loved how it finally turned out, though!

I still could have done some waist shaping or decreased once I had completed the bust area.  I cast on a pair of socks just to have some on hand, and then I saw this pattern on Pinterest, so dug in my yarn stash and cast on:  Maeve.  Really cute shrug/cardigan with interesting construction.

I will post again with more news about Crossfit, roller derby, the hounds.  Mid June marked my one year at Crossfit (and about six months of a Paleo eating plan).  Here’s a before (June 2013) and now:

I feel fantastic!

Oh my blog …

I cannot believe it has been this many long months since I made a blog post.  Eh. Life has been extremely hectic and stressful.  Probably that would be a good reason to take some time out to sit and reflect and write a post.

I will do, maybe on the weekend.  But in the mean time, here’s a cute greyhound pic:

IMG_1933cr

Rufie and Ava had Rufie’s brother come to visit a few weeks ago.

A couple more hats

After a hint or two, I realized I could make a replica hat for the big fella for his birthday present.  I had made the original hat in 2008, I believe.  It was pretty worn looking.  So I made another!

Replacement Hat

Replacement Hat

This is the Chocolate’s Gone to Your Ribs hat pattern, with a few tweaks.  In my knitting binder, I still had the notes from when I made the first version.  I knit the “body” of the hat to 6″, not 8″ as the pattern directs.  I used some Bernat “natural blends” wool blend yarn that I had on hand.

another perfect fit!

I might make another one in different colours, it’s a quick knit and I really like it!

This is the other hat that I couldn’t post before.  I made it for our derby Christmas party gift exchange.  Unfortunately, I had to make do with the poor yarn selection at our local Michaels as I didn’t think ahead far enough to online order some nice wool.

NorSask Roller Derby hat

Rav link here.  Our team colours are purple and bright canary yellow, but I had to sub in the paler “butter” yellow.  If I made another one, I would get some lovely Cascade 220 superwash.  This is my basic “wide brim hat” pattern with our league name in the text banner.

The other day I started knitting a sweater for me, the pattern is “Eeek” and it’s a really interesting top down construction.  I ordered some gorgeous Sweet Georgia Yarns superwash DK (colourway “nightshade”).  I have worked almost to the point where the sleeve stitches are put on hold.  I think the body will be a quick knit past that point.

We have had a quiet Christmas week here.  This was yesterday’s excitement and today was much the same:

watching tv … with their eyes closed

I have a few other projects lined up after the sweater; just need to MAKE the time to knit!

 

hat frenzy

In the limited knitting time I’ve had of late, I’ve been pounding out the hats.  I had a request from my tattoo artist for a couple of hats like the one I’d made her back in October as a tip.  So I did these:

Regia Angora Merino sock yarn

(Rav link)

This was very nice yarn to work with, very soft, but not annoyingly sheddy or fiber-y.

Estelle Sock It To Me sock yarn, black (ugh)

(Rav link)

I neglected to take a photo of the first one I did, but it was this same design, but using some Sweet Georgia Yarns “tough love sock yarn” in a subtle variegated dark grey.

The Owl Hat! I used some Bernat “Natural Blends” Wool Blend in charcoal.

(Rav link)

And I have one last sock yarn hat, Sisu in a heathering grey.  I’ll post a pic when it’s done. (Note to self, better get on it; it has to be done by Wednesday a.m.)

And on a whim, I made this for my Crossfit gym:

Saskpro Crossfit

(Rav link)

I used my Wide Brim Watch Cap pattern and this can be worn as a slouch hat or a folded brim hat.  Turned out pretty good!

Then I needed a Secret Santa gift for our CF Christmas party, so I made this:

This is Lion Brand’s Vanna’s Choice; more of an Aran weight. I loved the colour, and the recipient did, too!

(Rav link)

There’s one more hat, but I can’t show it until next week.  I have some other projects I’d like to get started, but they will have to wait a little longer.  Maybe on Sunday I can get organized!

 

Kinfolk

We had a visitor the other evening.  One of the big fella’s work colleagues has had a greyhound for a few years and they recently were transferred to our city.  So we finally got the hounds together.  They ran around in the yard, Ava tolerated Danny well enough, but Rufie and Danny were hilarious together.  I didn’t have any photos of them outside, though.

Danny on the left and Rufie on the right

Danny’s mom and dad had seen Rufus before and remarked on the similarity.  But seeing them together, it was quite striking how similar they were.

Are you my brother?

Later that evening I looked Danny up on the greyhound database.  Sure enough, they are half-brothers!  They share the same sire.  Danny is two years older than Rufie, but his parents said that he was just as goofie as Rufie when they first got him.  Funny boys!