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!


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.


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.


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.


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.

Stress knitting

It’s been a busy and somewhat stressful couple of weeks.  Luckily I had my knitting to keep me sane!

I finished these socks:


Sweet Georgia Yarns “Cashluxe” socks

One of my Crossfit coaches is embarking on an epic journey – travelling to New Zealand and competing in the Ironman!  Epic!  I appreciate all she does for us at Crossfit and she’s a fantastic coach, so I wanted to give her a little something for her trip.  The yarn is gorgeous – 70% Merino, 20% Cashmere and 10% Nylon.  Very soft and lovely.

I have a couple more skeins of this yarn in different colourways that I was thinking of using for a shawlette/scarf, but I might just make myself some socks!

We had a big decision that we had to make for our derby league.  Since September we had very low numbers and over the past 18 months or so we had lost players along the way – some moved, some had babies, some had other interests taking their free time.  Completely understandable, as people’s priorities and interests change.  However, we had to make a decision at our year end – we were operating at a loss for several months.

So it was voted at the meeting to dissolve the league and those still active and interested decided to join the other league in our town.  There was a significant amount of stress during all of this, and many details to oversee and attend to.  For the time being, my fellow ref and I are unaffiliated and don’t belong to any league now.  :-(

As a board member for the past three years it was bittersweet.  We had put all of our hearts into trying to grow the league and drum up recruitment and interest, we couldn’t do anything more.  We were sad to let it go.

However, that now frees up some time.  I want to devote more time to my photography and get back to practicing my guitar again.  And of course more time for Crossfit and knitting.  But not at the same time. Ha!

We had a nice treat last week.  We used some airmiles and had Ken fly in for three days.  Always great seeing him and it was nice to just relax and spend time together and not be dashing about everywhere.

Bill and Ken

Bill and Ken

Tin Can Knits “Flax” Sweater

I finished this a few days ago, but have been busy with derby things.

The “Flax” Sweater:

Cascade 220 yarn, colourway 2452 “turtle”

Ravelry project page is here, with details about modifications and waist shaping.

the back, obviously!

More pics on the project page.

This was a fun, quick sweater.  I would use the pattern again.  I tried a new method of waist shaping and really liked how it turned out.

I did some extra rounds to get the yoke depth I needed, as well as a few extra increases on the sleeves to accommodate my non-Grover arms.  I think this will become a favourite sweater!

I cast on some socks while I contemplate what I want to knit next.  I am loving having all this time to knit whenever I want.

Weird Weather

For most of this week, it’s been at or above freezing by several degrees.  Practically unheard of for Saskatchewan in January.  Just weird.

I have been working on my sweater – the Flax sweater from Tin Can Knits.  Great little pattern.  I am working on the second sleeve.

progress from two days ago

I hope to be able to finish it over the weekend!

It’s cold

We’ve had some “normal” or seasonal temperatures the past week or so.  Cold then some days/nights with added wind chill.  It doesn’t make one eager to go outside one bit.  The poopers are not complaining too much about not getting long walks.

Ava waits for her jammies to be washed


and Chopper contemplates moving back to Florida

Rufie couldn’t be bothered to move for a photo.

I came across a pattern for a “cat nest” on Pinterest.  I wanted to try it.  A girl I know from Crossfit has a Sphynx (hairless cat) and was saying how he is always burrowing under and into things to sleep.  So I gave it a try.  Ravelry project page here.

cat nest!

He’s still figuring it out:

cat next

I had some bulky weight yarn I had bought before Christmas, but was going to run out.  So I went to Michaels to see if I could find some more.  While I was there, I saw this bulky yarn and bought it.  Then I had to find a pattern to use it with.

The Vermonter hat

It was a quick and easy knit, but the bulky yarn and 8 mm needles were hard on my hands.  I think I need to redo the pompon as it’s quite wonky.  Ravelry project page here.

I’ve been working on a sweater for myself.  Tin Can Knits Flax sweater.  I was working on it for a while, then checked my gauge.  I had dropped down my usual one needle size but needed to check row gauge.  The stitch gauge is close enough that I can adjust as needed with adding increases, but the row gauge was off.  So I had to add a few extra rounds to get the arm scye deep enough.  I think it will be okay – the rest of the sweater is “knit XX inches” not XX rounds, so I can adjust as needed.

I’ve been working on clearing out my office and reinstating it as my yarn room.  Almost done!  I just have a small filing cabinet to go through.  We’ve been busy going to Crossfit and getting ready for derby to start up again.  We’re running another “learn to skate” program for the next six weeks until derby season is in full swing.  That should be fun!

And we’ve been using the library a lot for books and dvds.  I have some interesting books on night photography that I want to finish reading, then go and try some new night shots.  But when it warms up a bit.

Onion domes!

(That was taken with my phone’s camera.  Will do some more with my dSLR.)

Time to knit!



I finished these a couple of days ago, but didn’t get any photos until this morning.

Springy Ring Mittens (worsted)

The yarn is Crystal Palace Mochi Plus that I think I got on our vacation last year.  Ravelry project page is here.

the articulated horizontal ribbed cuffs. Love these!


love the cuffs!

I had been working on those toe-up on one/two circular socks, but last night after mindlessly knitting on them a few days, I realized that 1) the cast on was too narrow (8/8 stitches – not wide enough); and 2) I wasn’t particularly enjoying fiddling with the long cable of the needle, etc.  I ripped them out last night and will decide what to do about that.  I do want to try the technique, but I can see I need to refine a few parts of it.  So for now, I will knit some slippers or mittens and decide which sweater I want to start next, and then decide about the socks.


Some Projects

Now that gifts have been given, I can share them on here.  I loved having time to make a few gifts this year.

The Nola Cloche

other side

Ravelry project page here. I’ve made this hat a few times; it’s a cute pattern.  The red of the yarn is much deeper and bluer than the photos show.  It’s Cascade 220 in #9404.

I made these slippers – another pattern I had wanted to try for a while (funny it’s a similar pattern name).  It calls for a double strand of worsted, but I used a bulky yarn.  The first one I did as the pattern directed (knit flat and seamed) but the second one I adapted and knit in the round.  When I make these again, I will definitely do them in the round.

Nola Slippers

Project page here.  These are very cooshy and comfy.  I will likely make a pair for myself.

I made two cushion covers for dear Ande.  The project page is here.

cushion cover

I made a grey one and a brown one (whippet friendly shades!).

heathery brown

both cushions

If I made this again, I would also knit it in round as much as I could.

Once I was done my obligatory knitting, I started a pair of mittens for myself.  I just finished them tonight:

Springy Ring Mittens

I’ll post better pics when I can get some in the daylight.

We went for a drive the other night and I grabbed my dSLR to snap some pics.  It was interesting!  I’ll have to go out again and try it when I have more time to fiddle with settings and focus.  I liked these:

We have a few old ‘ghost’ signs on some brick buildings in our downtown

Queen’s Bench Court House

I took these freehand with no flash, just ambient light.  So they are grainy, but I like it.

the park at night

I picked up some socks I’d started a while ago, trying toe up, two on one long circular.  I’m not sure if I’ll keep going.  I seem to spend more time sorting out the tangled cable and adjusting the stitches on the needle than actually knitting.  We’ll see.

Five WODs in Five Hours

We had our annual “food bank drive” event at our Crossfit on Saturday.  We worked in teams of two.  For each WOD that we did, we needed to donate an item to the food bank.  I did it last year and it was a lot of fun.  This year was just as fun and challenging.

They did a nice write up in the paper about it, and a photo of me is in the story.  Ugh, not the best form, but we got ‘er done!  That’s supposed to be a push-press.  This was WOD #4 of 5, I think.  Or maybe it was 5.  Oh, right.  This was #5, which included 100 over-the-rig medicine ball throws, then 75 of these push presses, then some other stuff.


We donated almost 400 pounds of food goods to the food bank.  We always have the best events at our Crossfit gym.

Yesterday I was pretty achy.  Today Bill and I went to Crossfit for a workout and it felt good to stretch things out.

Bill has joined our Crossfit now, too!

It was his birthday yesterday and I got him some Crossfit gear to wear when we go.  I hope he finds it as fulfilling as I have the past year and a half.