I’ve been knitting, but I can’t show you

As I have a little time, I’ve been trying to make a few things for Christmas gift giving.

what is it?

I have a few other projects that I hope to finish.  We’ll see!

Hounds are fine.  It’s been getting warmer so they’ve been out for a few walks (the boys, not Ava).  Today is quite mild and Bill took them out for a long walk and they’re pooped now.  This was the other day:

Believe me, the couch IS big enough for both of them

And poor Ava, on the floor with a case of “bed fail”:

oh, such a tragedy

A busy week – lots to do around the house, it’s Buddy Week at Crossfit, so I have people coming with me each time I go.  Fun!  Plus I’ve been trying to make the twice weekly mobility classes to help with my, well, mobility!  Yesterday we did shoulders.  Ow.

Great pattern!

My Crossfit asked me to donate something for a door price at our all-day “five WODs in five hours” event that is happening later in the month.  I looked at some of my favourite hat patterns, then started a hat.  I worked on it for a few days, but wasn’t feeling it.  I ripped it out and saw this great pattern on Pinterest.  I tracked it back to Ravelry and decided to make this instead.  The Howlcat.

the “howlcat” (cowl, hat …)

It is basically a Buff type article – one long tube that you can configure to wear in different ways.  The grey ribbing is knit with worsted weight yarn and the red part is sock/fingering weight yarn, knit in stocking stitch.  I am really pleased with how this turned out and am already thinking of new colour/yarn combinations.

Reffed a double header in Saskatoon on Saturday night last week, then last night I reffed a rec scrimmage.  It was a lot of fun.  Derby is winding down in the province for the winter.  We have a couple more skates/practices before the middle of the month, then we’re not back until January when we’ll concentrate on our “learn to skate” program.  Then derby gears up again in February for the 2015 season.

So I will be concentrating more on my Crossfit.  I am spending the month of December focusing on improving my hip mobility to help with my technique.  It’s improved from when I first started Crossfit, and in the summer I worked on it, but I need to be consistent with it.  And working more on intermediate level WODs and movements.

The poopers are enjoying a bit warmer temps we had this week:

resting up for a nap later

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but Ava still needs her jammies at night

I

Public Service Announcement

It has been brought to my attention that an unscrupulous asshole is taking my free greyhound sweater pattern and selling it on eBay.  While I know once something has been released on the internet, I don’t really have control over what people do with it, but I am sorry that people don’t do their research and end up paying for something that they could download for free.

The seller on eBay has been reported.

Thanks.

One month in …

I was startled to realize yesterday was November 25.  My fourth week of ‘retirement’.  The first week or so it was quite unusual to realize that I didn’t have to think about work files, how to manage my time, or what would be awaiting me when I went back to work, etc.

Over the past year, I’ve had a lot of things that I wanted to get done around the house – organizational stuff, mostly – that I had put off because I had other ways of spending my limited free time.  Moving every five years over the last 30 years has certainly kept any hoarding/pack-ratting at bay, but we’ve been in our current house six years now, and things needed to be sorted and cleared out.  I kept telling myself I’d get to it when I was done work.

So when I was done work, I tried to do ALL the clearing, all at once.  That was no fun.  It’s going to be a process and I’m just going to pick away at it, bit by bit.  I want to still have time to knit and exercise and enjoy being retired.

After a late start to our winter (first “real” lasting snow fell this past weekend), today it was -35°C when I checked at about 10 this morning.

Ava’s ears have disappeared!

Definitely jammie time for Ava.  The boys are too manly to wear them.  Although, they also seem to stay quite warm during the night, whereas Ava gets quite cold and curls up into the smallest ball.  With her jammies on, when I check her during the night her ears are toasty warm and she’s sleeping comfortably.

I’ve been working on some hats, but I didn’t like either a) the pattern, or b) the yarn, so they got ripped out.  I spent some time the other day going through the huge stack of patterns I’d printed off in the past year and organized them, put them in my pattern binders and rediscovered some really cute sweaters, hats and sock designs.  I also want to make myself a new pair of mittens.

Ande and I again put together an audition video for The Amazing Race Canada – Season 3.  I think this is our best video yet and hopefully they will agree!

90 minutes of Skype; had to edit it down to 3 minutes

I’ve also been trying some recipes that I’d collected.  I also had a stack of printed recipes (mostly Paleo/clean) that I wanted to try, when I had time.  I’ve made this one twice in the past month:

Paleo Beef Spare Ribs

The veggies are carrots and parsnips and onion.  The parsnips don’t have a strong flavour, as I thought they might.  After being in the crock pot all day, they are quite mild and tasty.  This will become a staple in our winter kitchen.

I also tried this Paleo Shepherd’s Pie (cottage pie?  which one is which?)  I used clean ingredients and it was delicious.  I have made this one twice, also.  The white fleshed sweet potatoes are better than the  orange.  The second time I made it, I couldn’t find the white, so we used the orange.  A little sweet for my taste.  Still delicious dish, though!

with the white-fleshed sweet potatoes

I have spent the past two days moving into a new laptop.  My old one (almost two years old) had served me well, but being used 12+ hours a day really wore it out.  I have two external hard drives with backed up data that I also am going through to put only the relevant information on the new laptop.  I will keep the ext hdd’s intact, so if I need something, it will be there.

But I would like to get back to my knitting!

I’ve done a bit of reffing in the past month.  Have a triple header this Saturday, then a single scrimmage on Dec 6th, then that’s probably it for a while, other than practices.  Derby in Saskatchewan takes December and January off.  We still skate to keep working on our skills, though.

A couple of small projects

Although the market bag took a long time – it came on vacation with us and I don’t think I worked on it once.

Here’s the Ravelry project page. I followed the pattern for the body of the bag, then tried the handle from this pattern. I felt that the longer handles would be too stretchy for hauling fruits and veg.

“Rust Goes Green” market bag

I also knit up a quick toque using the Turn-a-Square pattern.  I used a 96 st cast on and started the crown shaping at 3.75″ as the recipient wanted more of a beanie than a full-on toque.  Ravelry page here:

Patons Decor in blue and purple

I have another hat started and I will go through my sweater patterns and decide which major project I will undertake next.

It’s officially official!

Friday was my last day of work … ever!  I had told my boss in July that when my contract came up for renewal at the end of October that I was going to be taking “retirement” and not renewing.  We did a lot of good work in the 4 years I worked with him.  It was always hectic, various levels of stress, and sometimes frustrating, but I feel good with my work.  I had a week to work with my successor and feel confident handing over the reins to her.

So now what?  I have a lot of chores and things I want to do around the house.  Things that I neglected and just didn’t have time for, then put off with the rationale,”oh, I’ll do that after I’m done work in November”.  Ha. Of course I have a list, so I’ll just get organized and start picking away at it.

I do intend to do more knitting.  A lot more knitting than in the past couple of years.  I’ve made a couple of sock yarn hats since we’ve been back from vacation and I’m still working on a crochet market bag.  I found some really nice sweater patterns and have yarn for those, so I’ll have plenty of projects from which to choose.

I’ve been busy reffing derby both before we went on vacation and since we’ve been back.  On Saturday night, the three games I reffed brought my 2014 total up to 30.  And I have a handful more before the end of the year.

Most of the derby games in Saskatchewan are recorded and televised.  LOL, this (from last Saturday) still makes me laugh and laugh:

Ref face on.  And “no, nope, no, nope”.  My derby name isn’t “Cranky Busterchops” for nothing.  That was during the third game of the day/night.

The weather has (up until this morning) been quite unseasonably warm and no snow.  We’ve had the poopers out for walks on the river path.  Today we are under a snowfall warning – right now it’s just cold drizzle, but expected to turn to snow in the evening hours/overnight.

gah, the sun’s at an awkward angle

I did find one photo on Bill’s phone from our visit in Kelowna.  This was his grandson’s 10th birthday supper at Denny’s (where else?)

Happy birthday!

After three weeks away, it was good (and awful) to get back to crossfit after vacation.  I had good intentions of doing lots of body weight work, stretching, etc. while we were gone, but we just were always doing something else.  Doesn’t hurt to have a complete break from it, but wow, did I feel it when I got back to it.  Happily settled back into my routine.  Our crossfit has also added some mobility classes (concentrated and targeted stretching sessions) so I’m trying to go to those as well.

And back to derby as well.  I’ve been very active reffing this year but our home league has been quiet.  They like to take the summer off from practices (although many of us do trail skates, etc.) and now it’s hard to get people back and interested again.  We are likely looking at a rebuilding year.  We are again starting a “learn to skate” program to try to get people interested.

We got some new skates from Rollergirl.ca to have gear on hand for people to try out:

I love those blue suede skates!

Bill and I were talking yesterday and we’re going to get our ice skates sharpened and try to do that this winter, as well.

Next time I will have some knit content!

Ava and her nose.

Well, we made it back home!

Three weeks of being on the road, and there’s nothing so nice as to sleep in one’s own (king sized) bed.

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finally, Ava says, I’m being treated as the Queen I am.

We left Vancouver Island and hopped on one of the new ferries (Coastal Renaissance) back to Vancouver.

We were on the lower deck

We were on the lower deck; like we were in a shipping container!

It had a great gift shop, though – found a fabulous Fall coat!

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Steveston, south of Richmond. Cute little village – historic for fishing, canning factories.

We got to spend some quality time with Ande; had a great supper our first night at Jackalope’s.  The brisket was unbelievable.

selfie time!

selfie time!

She and I had a fun girls’ day on Saturday.  We hit up John Fluevog store, of course.  Our favourite Fluevogologist Allan was ever so helpful.  At my count we tried on 18 or so pairs of shoes/boots.  Three pairs came home with me.

These are amazingly cute and comfy demi-boots, the Alana.

These are amazingly cute and comfy demi-boots, the Alana.  I bought skinny jeans to wear with them.

The other two pairs were another pair of demi-boots, but with a finer/dressier heel, and a cute pair of lace up flats.  We had Five Guys for lunch, then more shopping, more eating.  It was fabulous.  I’m sorry we don’t live closer together.

Chopper finally figured out how to relax on this, his first vacation.

Chopper finally figured out how to relax on this, his first vacation.

We spent three nights in Kelowna visiting the boys (I didn’t take any photos, but I think Bill has some on his phone – I’ll check tomorrow).  I did do some work on my vacation, but only to make sure I didn’t drown under the onslaught of email upon my return.

By that time, we were all ready to head home:

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one more night until we sleep in our own bed!

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Rufie does his “Joey Tribiani” impression. “how YOU doin’?!”

And in the three weeks we were gone, I only knit a very little bit.  The weather was great, so we did lots of walking and exploring in the van.  I went to some favourite yarn stores and stocked up on sock yarn and some yarns for a few sweaters I’d like to make over the winter.

So now it’s back to work until October 31.  I went back to Crossfit last night, then did derby skating for two hours.  And went back to Crossfit this evening.  My quads are so sore.  Having a complete break from everything for three weeks was great, but coming back is a little painful.

Maeve Shrug

Just realized I never posted the finished pics and details about the Maeve Shrug.

I love it!

There are more details and photos on my Ravelry project page (linked above).  I would certainly make another one.  The pattern is really interesting, for that it’s all garter stitch/stocking stitch.  The construction is very innovative.  I made this one with Cascade 220.

I was eating chocolate when I took this photo.

So I Can’t Count

Here I’d been thinking I had only two more weeks of work once we got back from vacation.  D’oh.  No, it’s actually three weeks.  But only 11 work days.  Still, the end is in sight.  I’m sooooo looking forward to November 1.

We enjoyed our stay at Pacific Sands near Tofino.  The weather was mostly quite pleasing.  Only a few part days where it was raining/misty:

The boys needed their rain coats one morning.

Our vacations out here are quite calm and laid back.  We don’t really do anything terribly exciting, just lots of beach walks, wave watching, people watching (the possibilities here are endless), scenic drives, exploring new places and revisiting old to see what has changed since last time.  I really needed some low-keyed days to decompress and relax.

I actually added a section to my day planner/book called “what am I worrying about today” to get all the junky crap out of my mind and to remind myself to not worry about things I can’t change, not to worry about my work while I’m away, and to just let things go.

lazy late afternoon in our suite in between beach walks

The ocean never gets old:

I do love watching ships/boats and sea planes.

The Ocean King, moored in Port Alberni

Ava is a little old lady now and doesn’t like walking too far, nor standing around for too long.

A scenic view in Tofino overlooking the working harbour and the seaway for the float planes.

This pic has been heavily filtered/instagrammed, but I love it:

monochrome and all contrasty!

More beach walking:

No chance of Bill getting lost in the fog.

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“but first, let me take a selfie”

Our van’s nav system cracks me up:

Thank you, Captain Obvious.

When it doesn’t know where it is, it freaks out.

And always time for more handstands:

Long Beach handstands! My goal is to do these free standing by next year!

Beach walks!

Long Beach!

So tomorrow we head back over to Vancouver for four nights.  Will love spending some time with my best friend ever, Ande and to see the sights.  There could be Fluevogs and yarn involved.

I have really been missing my crossfit WODs but I think taking a rest from that is okay.  I’d been pushing pretty hard all year, especially the last couple of months.  I’ve been doing some stretching and mobility, but that’s about it.  Foodwise, I’ve tried to be fairly conscious of eating clean, but I indulged in some phenomenal apple pie and of course fries from the fish and chips truck in Tofino!

Can’t be 100% all the time!

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!