Gauge problems

I saw a great pattern on Instagram and was waiting for it to be released.  It called for aran weight yarn, but I thought I could probably do it with worsted – my favourite Cascade 220, as I have some of that in my stash.  It’s called “First Watch” and is a pea coat styled cardigan.  It is by Olive Knits.  I swatched with Cascade 220, and while I was able to get that gauge of 18 st per 4″, the fabric was way too drapey for this sort of garment.

I was at my (not so) local yarn store a week or so ago, and picked up some Berocco Vintage which is labeled as an aran weight.  I did a gauge swatch and it, too, was far to flimsy for this type of structure.  So I ended up ordering some Cascade Longwood, which is a true aran weight.  I did a quick swatch of it last night and my gauge was bang on.

Cascade Longwood

Cascade Longwood

The colour is a little off.  It’s sort of a paprika/brick red orange.  I’ll pick up some awesome buttons when I’m in Vancouver in a couple of weeks at Button Button!

In the meantime, I decided to start a pair of socks, because who doesn’t love knitting socks?!

Cashluxe Spark

Cashluxe Spark

This is some Sweet Georgia Yarns sock yarn club from 2015.  It’s more purple/red.  I have some purple left over from another pair of socks that I will use for the heels and toes.  Such great yarn!

We have been diligent in getting our lane swimming in at least once a week.  We have gone a few times to a really nice complex in Saskatoon and had some great swims there.  I am seeing progress in my technique, but it’s slow.

next stop, the Olympics!

next stop, the Olympics!


It’s done! It’s done!

The Octodude (Knitter’s Dude sweater) is finished!  I had to wait a day to get some buttons because the ones I bought at the yarn store were 1.25″ and I needed 1″.  I didn’t think to check when I was making the buttonholes on the band, so I had to see what I could get locally.

The Knitter's Dude sweater, modified

The Knitter’s Dude sweater, modified

My Ravelry project page is here.  I made several modifications which I have listed in my project notes.  I wanted a different colourwork motif than the pattern had, so I found an octopus graph and incorporated that.  I also wanted to keep the “oceanic” theme and changed the other colourwork sections to waves instead of Greek key.

the back

the back

I added length to the body/torso (before the yoke) and the sleeves because most patterns are too short for me in those areas.  The sleeves ended up being a bit long, so I have folded back the ribbed cuffs and am happy with that.  I can fold them down if my hands get cold!

The sweater is knit in the round, then steeked to make a cardigan.  I’ve done steeks before (for armholes on Dale of Norway sweaters) but it has been more than a few years.  I did some googling and got my sewing machine out.

eeeek!  Cutting the steek.

eeeek! Cutting the steek.

After picking up and knitting the button bands and collar, I was able to find some really cool grosgrain ribbon to use to cover the steek ends.

hand sewing the steek facing

hand sewing the steek facing

I spent a lot of time doing the detailed finishing work.  I trimmed the steeks down close to the stitching to reduce bulk, then sewed the ribbon on top.


isn’t the ribbon awesome? I love skulls as much as I love octopus!


I sewed on small clear buttons on the inside of the button band to reinforce the buttons.


the buttons I found locally. I might swap them out for some to match the burnt orange stripes, if I find the right ones.

I used Cascade 220 Heathers for this project.  It’s a great “workhorse” worsted weight yarn.  I have enough left over to make a hat.  For now, I’ve cast on a quick hat using Vanna’s Choice that will go into my donation box.

Getting close!

I’ve been working diligently on my “Knitter’s Dude” sweater.  I had to do some modifications (adding length, changing the colour work motifs, etc.) so it’s taken a while.

ready to begin the steek process

ready to begin the steek process

I gave the front a light steaming so it was nice and smooth for sewing the reinforcing lines of the steek.  I have cut the steek and am working on the button band/collar.  It’s almost done!  Super pleased with the colours and the motifs I chose.

Some knitting

I got a bee in my bonnet to make a Cowichan-inspired sweater.  I didn’t necessarily want to make a bulky weight sweater, and I found a great alternative on Ravelry.  The “Knitter’s Dude Sweater” (so named because it was a replication of the sweater in “The Big Lebowski”).  It’s a worsted weight version, so much more to my liking for both knitting and wearing.

two sleeves done

I wanted to change the pattern’s motif/colourwork charts to suit me, so I found an octopus graph and am incorporating that into the sweater.


I have to add length to the body and sleeves, so I’m keeping good notes and hopefully it won’t end up too long.  The sweater is knit completely in the round, then the front is steeked to turn it into a cardigan.  The collar is added last.

Ravelry project page is here.

Radio Silence

Ooops – I didn’t realize it had been this long since I posted.

I took off to Vancouver for my birthday and spent four days with Ande.  We had a great time.  It was blue skies and sunny when I arrived, but by the next morning, it was mostly showery for the next couple of days.

great day for a ride in the Porsche!

We headed out to Victoria for the day on Friday – DeHavilland Twin Otter over in the rain, and a Turbo Single Otter on the evening flight back.  We flew Harbour Air from downtown Vancouver to downtown Victoria and were on foot for the day.


Ande is not comfortable on small planes, but she was a trooper!   I love float planes!

We did a ton of walking around downtown Victoria, did a couple of self-guided historic walking tours.  We spent a couple of hours at the Royal BC Museum; always a fun time.  And we had afternoon (fancy) tea at The Empress Hotel.  Very posh.

Getting all fancy with our tea!

Getting all fancy with our tea!

As we had been up since 6 and walked all morning, we were ravenous and almost forgot to get a photo of our delightful tea:

the delights!

Those scones were soooo good!

I took some photos which are in my flickr album here.  We had a great four days.  Lots of Bing time and snuggles, and we had a pug that stayed for the weekend.  We went to a Jamaican picnic where I had Goat Head soup; we had Chinese hot pot; went to Dayton Boots for custom made boots.  Hit up the Roundel for a fantastic brunch.  Managed to find a yarn store and bought some yarn. Spent some quality time at Ande’s beautiful condo.  I finished knitting a mitten.  I had a direct flight back from YVR so spent the $$ to upgrade to a “plus” seat so I had some leg room.

Love this Orca!


Door Prizes

Our gym had its “one year anniversary” event on Saturday.  I donated a couple of items for the door prizes.

OnLine Supersocke socks

OnLine Supersocke socks

Ravelry project page is here.  A simple pair of ribbed socks.  Lovely colour – it’s a deeper red than comes through in the photos.  I made them in a women’s large/men’s medium size.

And I had a hat pattern I wanted to try out, so I used up yarn from my green striped socks and made the Midas Hat.

slouchy hat

slouchy hat

Ravelry project page is here.  Could be a good pattern for using up bits of sock yarn.  I made the inside brim one colour, then switched after the purl (turning) round for the rest of the hat.  The SGY Tough Love sock yarn is soooo soft when it’s been washed, so I gave this hat a bath before I took it to the gym.

I haven’t decided yet on my next (bigger) project, so for now it’s more hats and mittens to donate.

More Spartan!

They posted some photos of the Spartan race.  Unfortunately, even though there were photographers at several points on the course, they only posted the photos taken at three particular obstacles because those were also chip-timing points.  I guess with 1,900+ racers, they had to be able to have a reasonable process to manage the photos of racers.


We got filthy, especially in the barbed wire/mud crawl.  The one photo with the red circle is the only proof I have of doing the rope climb!  I wish they had a photographer at the rope climb because SO MANY people failed at it!

We are starting to make a training plan for next year!

We are Spartans!

My workout partners and I completed a 14 km/29 obstacle course race called the Spartan Super.  They are held across North America, but the one we attended was in Red Deer, about a 7 hour drive from here.

This was my first foray into obstacle course racing and I quite liked it!  A lot of the functional fitness movements that we incorporate at Crossfit were helpful.  We really lucked out on weather; the forecast had been quite gloomy with cool temps and rain, but it ended up being mostly sunny and low teen temps.

before and after

before and after

We were  Team Pure Spartans (our gym name is Pure Athletics).  I’m fired up for what specific training we can do to conquer all the obstacles next year!

There are more race photos to be released; if there are any good ones, I’ll post them.

Here’s a list of the obstacles:

Over-under-through walls

6 ft wall

5 ft wall

inverted wall

Atlas carry

8ft wall

7ft wall

rolling mud pits

stairway to Spartan (18’)

tire flip

parallel bars

z-walls (traverse)

cargo bridge (wall)

bucket carry

sand bag  carry

tractor pull


balance beam

multi-rig (rings & bars)

Barb wire mud pit

slip wall (that FUCKER)

Hercules hoist

monkey bars

tree maze


vertical cargo

rope climb

fire jump


Team Chaga mini-triathlon

After watching our coach and some fellow gym members compete in the Frank Dunn triathlon in Waskesiu, my workout partners and I decided to compete as a team in a mini triathlon in La Ronge.  It all hinged on my being able to either rent/borrow a bike (which I ended up buying).

We got up early yesterday and drove to La Ronge, checking the weather forecast all the way, as cell service allowed.  It wasn’t looking good.  Rain.

We arrived early and had a drive around.  After leaving La Ronge in 1992, the last time I’d been there was probably 10 years ago when we attended a regimental ball while living in Waskesiu.  It was interesting to see what had changed and what had remained the same.

The event started a bit late, but the first leg was the 500 M swim.  The sun had been out, but disappeared and it was windy, so the lake was choppy.  My team mate did a great job on the swim and handed off to me, for the 20 km bike ride.


around km 10

around km 10

The road was okay, when I could get off the shoulder.  For the most part, traffic was quite considerate and slowed down and gave us a wide berth.  There were some wet sections and lots of potholes in the driving lane, but I was able to avoid them.  There was just a couple of times when I had to stay on the shoulder and got jarred around a bit.

I don’t remember the road out to Nemeiben Lake turnoff being quite so elevated!  I sure got a good leg work out.  My bike ran perfectly.  I had worn my jacket because I was quite cold down by the lake, but by the time I got out on the highway I realized it was a mistake.  Next time, I’ll skip it.

My team mates had driven from the swim out to the running transition area and were awaiting my arrival.  I swooped in there, bumping along on the gravel/sand parking lot, through the grassy trail to do the hand off.  I checked my bike computer and it showed 46:56 as the time for the 20 km.  I was constantly trying to figure out while riding what my time would be and was thinking about 50 minutes.  There was some wind and less than ideal riding conditions, but I found it pleasantly challenging.

whew, got that done!

whew, got that done!

The rain held off until my team mate was about halfway done the 6 km trail run.  I’m glad it didn’t rain while I was on the highway, but it made the run less than pleasant for her.  The trail was slippery and had a lot of mud holes and the rocks were treacherous.  We ended up with a finish time of 1 hr 40 mins according to my watch.  The official time will be something around that.

It was a fun day, and we’ll probably do it again next year, along with some other similar events.  I’m not a strong swimmer or runner, but I can bike!  (Thanks Crystal for the great photos!)