Friday, December 09, 2016

Oh my gosh

Sorry for the blog silence over here.  I thought I'd have something interesting to post by now.  Really.  I checked in about that sock yarn contest--no news about voting or winners yet over there.  I submitted a couple of essays to different places.  I have been to (no kidding) three different medical specialists in the last couple of weeks, too.  Still not any definitive diagnosis on why I have been feeling subpar for 6 months.  I have heard several different theories though, and I'm still trying to sort that out.

Then, in between one of those "get this to Fed Ex right away" lab tests, a drop off at kindergarten, and a few other details?  It snowed about 30 cm (1 foot) on Tuesday and Wednesday.  It has been an enormous, messy mess.  No one cancelled anything in the city, although on Tuesday, when I got to my special physio Pilates class, it was just me and the instructor...and I told her that walking (through completely uncleared snow) two blocks to see her had been downright aerobic on its own!

Since nothing got cancelled, and nothing gets plowed here until the snow stops, it has been a trying few days.  My twins are teary and tired, and I have to admit, sometimes I am too.  I'd leave the house early, shoveling like crazy (more than once) during the day to make sure everyone could get in and out of the house and car.  Then, I'd hop in the car, only to discover I was trapped.  Watching the car behind me flounder around in the backlane, getting itself stuck and unstuck (twice) as I waited to try to get out of my now cleared parking space?  That summarized things...until the Professor told me how he had to stop in the middle of a road on the way to pick up the boys from kindergarten.

A car was stuck in the snow.  A well-intentioned but small man (from the car behind) tried to push out the stuck car.  Stuck behind two cars now, my Professor hopped out of his car, gave a serious push to the car that was stuck---and whoosh, he got to drive to school.  Sometimes I think it is lucky we have the opportunity to shovel, push like heck, and that the snow muffles our screams.  All this is a good way to vent our frustrations...

Soon, soon, I will be giving you news about my Jewish Post & News columns and the eBook release...and soon the plows will come.  Soon it will be the weekend...when the temperature will drop to -25F. (-30C windchill)

I hope we can all stop screaming and crying around here long enough to rest on the couch. :)

Note: No picture.  Imagine a lot of blowy white stuff.  It's getting a little dirty and looks like lumpy mashed potatoes on the streets.  Yup.  You got it.

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Wednesday, November 23, 2016

Happy American Thanksgiving!

I missed North American Thanksgiving this year.  Yup.  I'm a little sad about that.
I was in the US for Canadian Thanksgiving in October, and in I'm in Canada for US Thanksgiving... but I am still thankful, and want to pass along something to you.

Here it is.  You can save 25% off of any of my Ravelry Pattern downloads from November 23rd through November 28th.  (the sale ends at midnight, CT, US & Canada)

Please use the Coupon Code:
Thanksgiving2016


So, after all the turkey is cooked and you're ready to relax, sit back and get knitting, you'll have some new patterns, on sale, to enjoy.  Here's the link to my Ravelry patterns.  Knit On!

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Sunday, November 20, 2016

Sock Yarn for Life?!


The folks over at YarnCanada.ca are running a really fun giveaway.   Here's part of what they wrote me in their note/press release:

We at YarnCanada.ca feel there’s too much pain and suffering caused by chilly feet, or worse, people wearing socks from Costco.

That’s why we are changing somebody’s life, by giving away a lifetime supply of socks (well, sock yarn, what happens with it is up to you!). The prize ($1000 worth of yarn) goes to whomever can show they will be most impacted by winning.

This is a very important "cause" and we need to raise awareness.

Note: I don't get anything by mentioning it to you.  In fact, I'll just have more competition when it comes to winning all the sock yarn for myself!  (which, you know, I hardly need, given my stock pile, but...it sure is tempting.)

I'm especially tempted by some of the yarns in the pile: Briggs & Little, Regia, Malabrigo, Crystal Palace...and my little boy sock standby, Kroy Sock by Patons.  (There's a long list on their website.)
.

All you have to do is wander over to their website to enter.  It's open only to people living in the US and Canada.  They ask what you will do with all the sock yarn and why you should win...and that's it.  The deadline is December 7, 2016, and they will announce the winner on December 14th.  That's a nice short deadline--delayed gratification is hard, right?

I'm going to imagine jumping into that big pile of yarn.  Ahhh.  See, I'm already feeling better just thinking about it!  And no, I have nothing to do with the giveaway, I'm just spreading the word.  

I hope you win!  (Or...I hope I win?!)
:) Joanne

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Saturday, November 19, 2016

Post-Election Anxiety

My article on the post- US election anxiety ran on the CBC webpage today.  It's a long headline, which probably doesn't bear reposting...but the anxiety caused by all the recent harrassment and hate crimes?  That is real.  The hate crosses borders.  I was heartened to hear that a synagogue in Ottawa today had a multi-faith open house as a way of addressing the crimes...and over 600 people came, from all different faith traditions.  That's a great start.

One of the ways we can combat this stuff is by speaking up against it (hence my essay and this post) and standing together to support rule of law and kindness and respect for others.  So, forgive me if there is no photo today; I have no interest in reposting a swastika.

Have a good week!  My next post will be a positive one, I promise. :)

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Wednesday, November 16, 2016

Wovember and a quick trip to Crete

I have been unable to keep up with Wovember this year the way I have in years past....so today I cruised over to the website to try to catch up to all things wool in November.  (It's a site that celebrates wool and its uses; it's an intense November experience every year with a post or two every day!)  Anyway, imagine my surprise when I discovered that my blog was a part of this post on Crete.

How funny to see my name and my writing quoted...I feel honored!

Anyhow, it is getting colder every day in Manitoba, and today was a damp, dark and nippy dog walk at 7.  So, as a little respite, here are a couple of photos from those old posts about Crete...

Click here and go back to read more about my journey in Crete...

(And, as I explained to friends later, the only bad part of the trip(s) we've made there is how FAR it is from North America!)

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Tuesday, November 15, 2016

Infinity and Beyond

It's fair to say it's been a rough week.  Everyone I encounter in Winnipeg has been talking non-stop about the US Election.  I have many reflections...definitely, especially considering some of the harrassment and hate crime is now crossing the international border.

 However, over the past few days, we have also had to cope with everyday life. I've also sought a lot of distraction.  My kids went to the zoo, played, and did all the usual twin activities.  I also finished the amazing infinity sweater.

This is a one-off for a twin who knows what he wants.  A while back, he figured out what the infinity symbol looks like: ∞
and what it means.  The kindergarten definition, straight from a PBS kids' show called Peg & Cat which teaches math, is:
A number so big you can't count it.

These were all his own color choices… This stranded knitting symbol resulted in a lot of math!  My brain just about fell out my ear!  However, I managed it.  

Some technical notes for curious knitters: :)  
I measured his favorite sweaters and figured out my gauge.  I cast on for a 28" sweater, approximately.  It stretched a bit when I blocked it, which is fine.  I made it a little long and the sleeves a little long, but I wanted it to fit now as all his nice dress sweaters are now looking worn and yucky.  (In cold weather, the twins often wear button downs, khakis, and sweaters to services on Saturdays)

I knit up to the chest, I knit sleeves separately, and I joined all three together, and worked decreases while knitting the infinity pattern, which I designed with a little help from the kid.  The sleeve infinities are bigger than the ones on the chest.  That's the way it worked out best with the math.  I used Jo Sharp DK wool, from my stash, which was very old.  (I think I bought some of it in Niagara Falls, Canada and had it shipped to Kentucky, so purchased maybe in 2003-- well aged.)   I used every last inch of the dark blue yarn, which was what he wanted the most of.  He requested the light blue and purple contrast.  (He believes that color is purple, and that is fine with me!)


Now I am on to the next twin's sweater.  He wants brown (we are using tweedy brown Rowan yarn and some Black Water Abbey/Cushendale Mills yarn from Ireland, again, well-aged!  I went to Ireland in 2004, I think.)  Then he wants some skinny white stripes around the chest area, so we will go with Jo Sharp DK again for that.  I am hoping this sweater goes faster--we've had a nice warm fall but winter is coming!


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Monday, November 07, 2016

in the news!


On Sunday, the CBC-Manitoba website ran my piece on Slow Fashion.  It's a take on how we can integrate some of the ideas into our daily lives in moderation, even if we lack time and money.

We had a busy day too--a bright sunny one which broke all kinds of records for warmth in Manitoba.  My twins were up at the crack of dawn (5:50 AM, which technically was sleeping in for a whole 20 minutes) because of the time change... and then we rushed off to swim lessons.  We had a brief break in the busy schedule to play, and then I got to go to an adult education lunch and learn session on my own.  (Wow.  That was awesome.  A whole 2 hours by myself!)

Then we rushed off to a concert.  It was a kids' concert that both boys were keen to hear, with singing, guitar, banjo, bass... and  it raised money to support refugees, so it was all good.  Imagine our surprise when that too ended up in the news!  Both my boys are in the photos of the concert, as they were dancing and singing along right up in front.  So, the only person not in the news this weekend?  My professor, who prefers to avoid the limelight...
(It was held at a church, which accounts for the stained glass and weird lighting... my guys are in the orange shirt and the black and red shirt, standing close to each other and dancing and clapping along)
Photo link courtesy of the CBC website

After the concert, there was even more time spent playing and biking outside.  The warm weather this late in the year has been a great gift...even though most of the outdoor toys have already been tucked away for winter.

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