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!

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

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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!