January 19, 2014

This Morning



January 17, 2014

On the needles:

Pattern: Honey Cowl by Madelinetosh
Yarn: Illimani Yarn Royal 1
Colour: A3060
Needles: Circular - 5.0 mm
This doesn't look much like a cowl at present but the pattern has been so popular on Ravelry (over 14,000 made!) that I trust it will be very cowl-like indeed when it comes off the needles! This is the first time I have used Illimani alpaca and it is lovely. It doesn't split, frogs with great forgiveness, and has the soft drape and luxurious feel that you expect from an alpaca yarn.
And off the needles at long last:
Pattern: Stocking stitch
Needles: Circular - 2.25 mm.
Yarn: Lorna's Laces Solemate; Colour: Jeans
Yarn: Cascade Heritage Solids and Quatro; Colour: 5604
Yarn: Cascade Heritage Solids and Quatro; Colour: 5651
I started this sock project in the spring of 2013 but kept putting it aside. It feels good to finally get the socks finished.
While I like Lorna's Laces yarns, I don't like the way the variegated colours pool with sock knitting. I tried a variety of sock patterns  (Ravelry has lists of patterns that minimize pooling) with no success. Finally, I decided to alternate one row of Lorna's Laces Solemate Jeans colour with one row of a leftover solid Cascade Heritage baby blue. And used Cascade Heritage Denim colour for the cuffs, heels, and toes.
I am not thrilled with the socks but feel I have made good use of the yarn.
Here's the kind of card that every knitter would like to see under the Christmas tree - a gift card from Have A Yarn in Mahone Bay. The design and sketch is by Heather Tunnah herself. I was actually lucky enough to get two - one for a Fair Isle knitting class and one for a Double Knitting class. I was never much interested in double knitting until I saw some of the finished projects in the shop. One is called a sock but, to me, is thick enough and cosy enough to be a slipper.
Christmas has been put away for another year. The house seems bare now without the trees and candles, etc. There are just fond memories...

January 06, 2014

Uncle Floyd and The Christmas Mice

This past Christmas was a very special one for us as it was the first time in years that the entire family was all together. And it was a white Christmas - a very white Christmas! - though so bitterly cold (many, many degrees below normal for December) that it was often difficult to stay outdoors for very long.

One night at the supper table, I played a joke on our little granddaughters. I leaned into the gathering, lowered my voice, and confided in them all that we had an infestation of mice in the kitchen. (Isa, God love her, murmured, "It happens.") I said it was so bad that there were even mice in the refrigerator! And since it was time to fetch dessert, I was nervous that something might jump out at me when I opened the fridge door.

Coming back into the dining room with a container of truffle mice, the sheer look of horror on Granddaughter L.'s face when she spotted the mice in the box was a sight to behold. And in a few seconds, as she focused on the container and realized the mice were not real, the horror was replaced with laughter.

She was a good sport about being fooled. Later in the holiday, we were reading The Fantastic Mr. Fox by Roald Dahl. Three obnoxious farmers were attempting to shoot and kill the wily fox and I asked her if she minded scary stories. "No", she answered promptly. "Because the bad guys always die or go away and the good guys stay healthy." Wise child.

When we were preparing to visit Uncle Floyd on Boxing Day, we decided that we would play the same joke on him. But Uncle Floyd turned the tables on us!

We took the container of truffle mice to his house. When we stepped over the threshold, Granddaughter L. wished him a Merry Christmas and proceeded to tell him how we had rats at the house (she figured that hyperbole was needed at this point to make sure the joke went well!)

Uncle Floyd took the news very seriously, but as we expanded on the story, and she explained that we brought some rats to show him, as the problem was very, very bad and, if he saw them, perhaps he could tell us what to do about it, I could see a tiny flicker of awareness in his expression though he remained poker faced throughout.

He took the container from her, slowly lifted the lid, stared inside for a long time, looked down at her, and announced emphatically, "I know exactly what to do with these guys. I'll take them into the kitchen, fill the sink with water, and drown them!"

And for the second time this Christmas, little L. was horror stricken!

Good times.