Will it defeat me?

Before I went on my visit to Vancouver, I started a shawl so I would have a no-brainer project on hand for knitting at the airport, etc. (Rav link: Age of Brass and Steam)

I have had to re-start the damn thing four times.  My stitch count kept being short by one or two stitches whenever I finished a section and actually counted.

The pattern has both yarn overs and “M1″ increases on the right side, and YOs on the purl side.  I suspect I am missing the odd YO on the purl side.  I have now gotten to this point:

Age of Brass & Steam

Age of Brass & Steam

The yarn is really lovely – Sweet Georgia Yarn’s Cashluxe Fine (merino, cashmere sock yarn).

the colour is "rusted"

the colour is “rusted”

I tried to work on it last night, but didn’t feel like it.  I am again out by one stitch.  I know I can make it up during this next section, but to be consistently missing YOs or increases is bothering me.  I’m tempted to rip it out (again) and make a Boneyard shawl.  Love that pattern!

I have been very busy this month with roller derby (something every weekend).  Coming up there is a recruitment event on Sunday, then practices, then another double header on July 11.  I have committed to ref for a couple of other leagues in the province during their season, so have some other dates as well.  Then I think it will slow down a bit.  It’s all great, but man, was it hot on Saturday night when the outside temp was above 30°C, humid and inside the arena was just as stifling.  Blah.

For the past month the northern half of our province has been in dire straits with wild/forest fires raging uncontained.  We have had mornings and evenings where we’d get a whiff of wood smoke, but since early this morning, we have had thick, thick smoke.  Our air quality health index is at 10+ (which is “very bad”).  Hopefully we (and the north) will get some rain soon to cool things down and put some of the fires out.

smokey

smokey

Lush Cardigan finished!

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quick bathroom selfie

I finished the Lush cardigan on the weekend but it took a few days to get some photos.  I was a bit apprehensive about the sizing on this because of my gauge being different than what the pattern called for.  I wanted to use up some yarn I’d had for a while.

Here is my Ravelry project page for it.  The Rowan Felted Tweed DK yarn I used was slightly smaller gauge than what the pattern called for.  So I used the Medium size stitch counts to anticipate having a Small size finished sweater.  The thing that caused me the most concern was the lace panel.  The pattern has you make the lace panel, then you turn it horizontal and pick up stitches on the top and bottom edges to do the collar to neckband/yoke to body.  I felt that the lace panel was just slightly too long and that it would be too loose around the shoulders.  I wanted this to be a close-fitting cardigan, and was worried all the way through working on the sweater that it would be too loose.

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(excuse the “after reffing” hair)

The yoke panel is very nice; I like the detail and how it’s constructed.

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back view

Yoke:

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before final blocking

.

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back yoke and the waist shaping

There are detailed project and mod notes on my Ravelry page (link above).

Snotty model look!

Snotty model look!

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I tried to show the waist shaping detail, but it’s hard to see.

Overall, I’m quite happy with this, but I would have preferred it be a bit snugger in the yoke and waist.  I chose to go with 3/4 length sleeves because I like the look wth the lace panel.  Full length sleeves would have seemed heavier.  I did have some problems with the sleeves.  I knit the first sleeve then tried it on and it was impossibly snug on my biceps/upper arm.  I left it, then did the second sleeve.  Upon working the second sleeve, I realized I had mis-read the pattern and instead of working the sleeve (from the arm scye) for 4 inches, I had only worked it for 4 rounds.  So the decreases had started much too soon and that’s why it didn’t fit.  Once I’d finished the second sleeve, I ripped out the first and reworked it properly and they fit just right.

So now I have a hat that has been sitting for a while, and the shawl I cast on for travel knitting.  I think I’ll finish those two before I start something new.  But I am looking forward to using up some of my new sock yarn!

The Toothless Wonder

Ever since Rufus came to live with us (i.e. directly off the track), he has had dental issues.  He was given a dental cleaning when he was “under” for his neutering, just before we got him.  When it was time for his next annual vet visit, he had a dental done, and this time he had eight teeth extracted.  He had some gum recession and gingivitis.  After each dental, even with brushing and gel treatments, his teeth were plaqued up within weeks.

Fast forward to his vet appointment last week.  We knew he needed another dental and anticipated several extractions.  Poor fella ended up getting several (20?) extracted and now has 7 teeth left.  His appointment was on Friday, so we’ve been giving him soft foot and his favourite, cottage cheese, over the weekend.  He has been gumming down some kibble, so once his gums heal completely, we’ll see how we’ll feed him.

"I ain't got no teefs."

“I ain’t got no teefs.”

He did pretty well after the procedure, considering how many teeth they removed.  He slept well Friday night and by Saturday afternoon was more like himself.  He’s such a gentle, easy going soul.

Actual Yarn and Knitting Content!

When we last checked in, knittingwise I was on a hat kick.  I didn’t really know what I wanted to work on, so just to have something at hand, I was using up bits and ends of sock yarn and making hats.  I had a few sweater patterns I had found on Pinterest and Ravelry that I was interested in trying, so I went through my yarn and found a suitable choice.

The pattern is Tin Can Knit’s “Lush” Cardigan (Ravelry link). Very interesting design in that you start by working a narrow lace panel which becomes the foundation for the yoke, then the neck/collar is worked from one long edge and the sleeves and body are worked from the other.

The yarn I chose was slightly different weight than what the pattern calls for (I’m using Rowan Felted Tweed DK).  I did a couple of gauge swatches and determined that to get the size and fit I wanted, I was going to have to use the stitch counts for the medium size but the length/row measurements for the small.

I finished the yoke panel and it seemed very long.  After blocking it was even longer.  Many of the pattern notes on Ravelry said not to worry, that it would all work out, etc. so I kept going.  It was difficult to tell until I had knit a considerable amount of the body if it was going to be okay.  I won’t know 100% for sure until I get the button bands done, but it seems like it will all work out in the end.

the yoke with upper body and neckband completed

the yoke with upper body and neckband completed

The pattern does incorporate some waist shaping, but I preferred to use the shaping that I had used on my Flax pullover, so I did so here.  It is so flattering!

All was going along swimmingly, until I finished the first sleeve:

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it’s supposed to be a 3/4 sleeve but it’s too tight!

I had assumed that because the Flax sweater fit so well without tweaking the sleeve circumference, etc. that this would be the same.  I hadn’t even given it a thought as I knit the sleeve.  I decided to continue and knit the second sleeve and see how it felt.  It was during the second sleeve that I realized I had misread the pattern and where it said “knit even for four inches”, I had interpreted that to say “knit even for four rounds“.  Duh.  No wonder it fit poorly.  The sleeve was narrowing right from the armscye and couldn’t accomodate my Crossfit/popeye biceps.

I completed the second sleeve and it fits very nicely, so I have ripped out the first sleeve and am in the process of reknitting it correctly.  I haven’t any buttons picked out yet for this.  There’s not much of a selection where I live, so I may look on etsy to see if I can find something suitable and appealing.

We hit up a couple of my favourite yarn stores in Vancouver, Three Bags Full and Baaad Anna’s.  I have enough sweater yarn in my stash right now (earmarked for specific projects) so I looked mostly at sock yarn.  I’m mentioning it here because I will want to know months later what yarn I got in case I wind it up and lose the labels.

This is Madelinetosh ToshDK that I got for Tin Can Knits Prairie Fire sweater.

I have five skeins of it, the colour is Citrus.

I found a new-to-me sock yarn at Three Bags Full:

Biscotte & Cie, a yarn company out of Quebec.

Great self-striping yarns – I’m really looking forward to using these!

stocked up on some Sweet Georgia Yarns “Tough Love” sock yarn (plus a skein in “lemon curd”)

and some SGY Cashluxe Fine. Soooo cooshy!

I haven’t decided what I’ll start next, once I’ve finished the Lush cardigan.  I still have one sock yarn hat that it in progress, plus I started knitting a shawl so that I had “travel” knitting for my trip, but I haven’t made a lot of progress on that.  I really dislike having a bunch of projects underway at the same time, so quite possibly I will finish those two off before starting something new.

The poopers are doing fine – the boys enjoy going for walks and romps in the back yard and Ava enjoys sleeping on the couch and our bed.  We had Ava and Rufus in for their annual vet appointments last week and they’re both doing great.  Rufie does need to go in for a dental tomorrow, but that is unavoidable.  He just has genetically bad teefers.

I have been doing some work around the house in culling and minimizing and reorganizing, I go to Crossfit four or five times a week, and at least once a week I’m out for derby for several hours.  (Did I mention that I joined the Saskatoon league?)  So busy, busy, busy!  I was at a derby tournament on the weekend and had a great time, learned a lot and got more reffing an officiating experience.

Cranky in action!

Cranky in action!

I know I haven’t been posting much on here; I’m much more active on Facebook (which I prefer to keep to people whom I actually know) but also on Instagram, which you can follow here, if you feel bereft of pooper pics :D

The rest of the trip

was spent watching Terminal City Roller Derby, yarn shopping, Fluevog shopping, hanging out, eating, making great food.

It was again a bit of a challenge to go to a derby game and not be reffing from the stands.  I didn’t know who to cheer for, so I cheered for the zebras.  Ha.

double header with the four house teams

this was in a different venue from the one we went to a couple of years ago (which was a dark hockey arena).  Great viewing experience!

picking up some food in the ‘hood!

Ande made (well, I helped a little wee bit) an amazing supper on Sunday – Black Vinegar Ribs. Recipe here.  We got the pork ribs “country style” so they were big and meaty and delicious.  I will have to make this here some time.

On Saturday and Sunday we went downtown and walked around for a few hours with Bing.  He was exhausted!

poor Bingle!

He does so well in public – everyone loves him and comments on what a handsome lad he is!

Sunday night we tried to take a commemorative selfie:

you can see how well that turned out.

So of course we hit up the Fluevog store on Granville (and also went to the Gastown one to pick up).  I had carefully reviewed the website and decided which ones I wanted to try on.  These shoes were released in the fall when I was in Vancouver, but only in black or red.  They just didn’t appeal to me, but when I saw they had them in some new colours, when I saw this blue, I was all over it!

Fluevog Mezzo “Della”

I put them on right away and wore them for the rest of my trip.  Super comfy and fun!

The other ones that spoke to me were these:

Fluevog Esoteric Temptations “Odette”

Again, very comfy shoes!  They have taken the “Swordfish” toe and put it on a mary jane style pump.

oh, of COURSE I’m buying these!

As always, our favourite Fluevogologist was there to attend to us.  Thanks again, Allan at the Granville store!

I’ll do a separate post about the yarn.

(more photos on flickr)

Some traveling, some knitting

I’ve been pretty busy the past month or so.  Roller derby season in full swing, getting things done around the house, and a couple of trips.  I’m going to break this up into a couple/three posts.

I had a great visit in Vancouver to see Ande.

My ride! Beautiful day for flying.

I left here Thurs a.m. and came back Monday afternoon. I much prefer to fly WestJet.  I’ve had bad experiences any time I’ve flown with Air Canada.  WestJet has changed some of their pricing platforms and policies, so if you want to have any leg room, be prepared to pay for the “plus” seating.  In my opinion, completely worth it.  You get to board first, disembark first, if you choose the plus seating when getting your ticket, you then don’t have to pay the baggage fee (for one bag), plus you get complementary food/beverage service on the flight.

Crazed best friends, together again!

On Friday, we lucked out on the weather (again) and had a beautifully sunny but cool day for two x three hour bike tours.  The one in the morning was around downtown and Stanley Park and the Seawall.  The one in the afternoon was Gastown, False Creek, Chinatown, etc.  The tour was provided by Vancouver Bike Tours and Jeremy was a fantastic guide.  Very knowledgeable and knew all the current events and activities in the city, as well as the history.  He also saved my Rayban sunglasses that fell into the koi/turtle pond at the Chinese gardens.

The “old” law courts building.

Even though I’ve been in Vancouver dozens of times, I learned some interesting facts and history about the city.

The Marine Building, 355 Burrard Street

I didn’t get a shot from a distance to show the beauty of this structure.  It’s often used in tv shows and movies shot in Vancouver to emulate New York.

We made our way down to the water and into Stanley Park.  We stopped at the Totem Park:

Most of the totem poles in the park

Unfortunately, they have had to create a berm/barrier to keep people from messing with the poles.

I had never seen this, nor knew of its existence in the park:

Beaver Lake

A serene little beaver pond!  Very pretty and lush and green.  The lily pads and vegetation are taking over the water, though.

We stopped at the Laughing Men on our way to lunch. This guy is calling a cut track penalty on someone!

In the afternoon, we went through Gastown and False Creek and Chinatown.  I didn’t get a ton of photos as I was too busy looking at everything.  We popped into the Dr. Sun Yat Sen public gardens; so serene and beautiful.

Dr. Sun Yat Sen public gardens

Dr. Sun Yat Sen public gardens

This is the free/public side, not the side we have visited previously where it is paid admission.  Still quite lovely.  We were sitting on the stone fence looking at the pond an I had leaned over to see this turtle:

the culprit

when my (new) black RayBan Wayfarer sunglasses slipped out of my jacket pocket and kersploosh, into the pond.  Our interpid tour guide hopped the fence, took of his sock and shoe and with Ande anchoring him through the wall, reached into the salmonella-infested sludge and found them!  Huzzah!

We also saw several art installations on the day’s tour – Brush with Illumination, the OSGEMEOS Giants (cement silos, Granville Island), this cool graffiti alley in East Van:

off Venebles Street

Lots more photos on my flickr page. (p.s. I have no idea why these pics are so big)

After we were done our bike tour, it was Bing time!

I photoshopped to get artsy!

We had a lovely family supper Friday night and got ready for Saturday’s adventures.

Pretty busy being retired

I realized this morning that it’s been six months since I retired.  I am busy every day, or at least as busy as I want to be.  Now that derby season is in full swing, I’ve been traveling a lot for that, as well as keeping up my Crossfit goals.

I’ve still been plunking away making hats and using up odds and ends of sock yarn.  I really liked the looks of this one, so decided to keep it for myself.

This was with Sweet Georgia Tough Love Sock Yarn and some OnLine Supersocke 100 “vintage” colour.  Project page is here.  My main Ravelry project page is here; there are other hats I’ve made that I haven’t posted here.  I wasn’t sure what main project I wanted to do next, so I have just kept on making hats.

Last night I started a new project, the Lush cardigan using some Rowan Felted Tweed I had from a trip to Vancouver a few years ago.  The gauge isn’t quite right, but I think I can adapt using a size larger’s stitch counts.  We’ll see!  I plan to make it long sleeved (or 3/4, I haven’t decided yet) and to do waist shaping and have it button all the way.  The pattern starts with a knitted lace band that is incorporated into the yoke.  Very interesting!

I’m looking forward to a few weeks from now when I’ll get to go to Vancouver for a long weekend to spend with Ande. It’s looking like we won’t be making our fall trip to the West Coast, so I’m going to take a quick flight out by myself.  We’re going to hit up a Terminal City Roller Girls double-header on the Saturday night, so that will be FUN!

We’ve been having a slow spring.  It seemed it would be cold and blustery forever, but then the snow melted.  We had a few days of quite pleasant weather.  Then about 10 days ago we had a storm front come through, dumping a ton of heavy, wet snow on us.  Then two days later it was +26°C.  Oh, Saskatchewan!

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So I’ve been traveling to my new derby league in Saskatoon at least once a week for practices and events.  Such a good decision.  I’m learning so much, getting lots of experience and increasing my reffing skill set.  My little car is getting good gas mileage so it’s not killing my budget.  We reffed at a local game a few weeks ago (I should have been in bed; I had a horrible ear infection and no balance, but I didn’t want to miss it!) and the season “home” opener for the league is next Saturday (the 16th).  That should be a lot of fun and I can’t wait!

We’ve been out for a few bike rides on our Rotary Trail, but we haven’t had our skates out yet.  It’s been super windy and it is not as fun when you’re battling a head wind.  I hope to get out there soon, though.

The poopers are doing fine.  We’ve been brushing them a lot as they are shedding.  Rufus seems to shed the most.  White dogs.  Apollo was the same way – thick and lots of shedding.  Chopper’s coat is quite sleek (like Sabrina in that way) and Ava’s a little coarser, but not too bad.  When we get a good hot day, we’ll give them all a bath on the back deck and that will get the last of the shedding.

if you look closely, you can see Rufie's tail just about to be chomped.

if you look closely, you can see Rufie’s tail just about to be chomped.

Hat Kick

I’ve been making a few hats using left over bits of sock yarn.  I have some great sweater patterns that I want to try, but right now I’m in a minimizing/culling/clearing out of the house mode.  So for now, left overs!

Fibonacci Hat with left over Sweet Georgia Yarns “Tough Love” sock yarn

I followed the Fibonacci sequence until close to the top.  I didn’t want a wide band of one colour for the crown decreases, so I winged it.

Sweet Georgia again and Estelle Sock it to Me.

The solid grey was a little thinner, but it still worked up okay.

Sweet Georgia (again!) and the charcoal is Sisu.

I don’t know what I’m going to do with these hats, but I love knitting them!

Derby season is in full swing; I’ve been busy going to practices (1.5 hour drive away).  Got a sweet new (to me) set of wheels that gets great gas mileage!  And my reffing partner and I take turns driving, so it’s been going well.  First game to ref is next Saturday and my calendar is pretty full from then until the end of November.

car

2013 1/2 Chrysler 200S

We had a nice glimmer of spring last week and got all three poopers out on the river trail for a long walk.  Poor Ava.  At least I didn’t have to carry her this time.

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Loving the sunshine

And in other news, I received the worst haircut of my life last week.  So I buzzed it all off.  Again.  Back to square one!  Meh, it’s only hair and it will grow back.

always with the good intentions!

Ha, I always think, “oh, I should do a blog post” … and then three weeks go by.

Things have settled down a bit here.  The after-shocks of the demise of our derby league have subsided.  I and my fellow ref have joined the league in Saskatoon and have been taking turns driving down for practices.  It’s very nice to have a full reffing crew to learn from/with and to discuss scenarios and rule interpretations.  I also went down to a boot camp they hosted last weekend and helped out during the scrimmage.  The derby season is gearing up for the province and I have several dates already booked, and several tentative ones that I haven’t committed to yet.  While I truly miss our own league and the fantastic chemistry we had, I don’t miss spending several hours a week working on board and league business.  It’s nice to just show up and skate.  And now I have time to pour over the rule book and watch footage on tv.

I managed to finish a pair of socks.  I had originally started these using the two-socks-on-one-set-of-dpns (double knitting, one sock inside the other).  I had tried that a few years ago, but found it too stressful.  Well … it was still stressful and not relaxing.  So instead of keeping going and being anxious about it, simply to have what equates to a knitting party trick (the second sock inside), I split them onto two separate sets of double points and carried on.

I had started with two separate colours of yarn so I could see easily which was the inside sock vs the outside.  But after splitting them onto their own set of dpns, I realized I would have to knit a second pair of socks when I was done these.  Instead I swapped yarn after I turned the heel.  They are fraternal socks, not identical.

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Sweet Georgia Yarn “Tough Love” sock yarn  

The colourways are Black Plum and Nightshade.  Such lovely tonal colours!  Ravelry project page is here.

I have some really cute and interesting sweater patterns that I want to try; they call for DK weight yarn.  I need to see what I have in that weight.  I’ve been working on minimizing our house/possessions/STUFF and that included my yarn.  I had some storage bins in the basement that had really not been touched since we moved here over six years ago, so I pulled it all out, sorted it according to people who expressed interest in it, and cleared a lot of it out.  What I have left is recently purchased yarns and/or yarns that I really loved and wanted to use.

For now, I cast on for a sock yarn hat using the leftover yarns from the socks.  I’m working a Fibonacci striping sequence; that’s interesting!

“The Fibonacci sequence – also known as the golden ratio.  It’s a pattern of numbers that occurs naturally in nature and is aesthetically pleasing to the eye. The numbers give perfect proportion and will produce interesting stripes.

1 + 2 = 3

2 + 3 = 5

3 + 5 = 8

5 + 8 = 13

8 + 13 = 21

The sequence: 1, 2, 3, 5, 8, 13, 21, 34, 55, 89, etc.

Each number in this series equals the sum of the two previous numbers.”

I will post a photo once I have made more progress.  It’s looking good so far.  So until I figure out what my next “big” project will be, I’ll use up some of my sock yarn making socks and hats.  Maybe mittens.  Who knows!

The poopers are anxiously awaiting the arrival of spring.

"when will it be warm"

“when will it be warm”

Ava doesn’t care because she doesn’t like being outside, but the boys are getting antsy for long walks along the river bank and playing chase in the yard.  Chopper has a cut on his toe from the sharp ice in the yard.  The past few days have been melting and messy, but it’s only early March, so we’re not fooled that spring is actually on its way.

Oh, it's not so bad, after all.

Oh, it’s not so bad, after all.

Yesterday we bought a twin sized 6″ foam mattress to put in the living room to replace two old dog beds.  Chopper stretched out on it all night, but Rufie was leery of it and didn’t want anything to do with it.  But this morning, he gave it a try.