Friday, February 15, 2019

Things fall apart

OK, deep breath, we've had a bunch of breaking things around here.

Back in January, we had the boiler problems, and it is fully described in this article that just came out in the Vancouver Jewish Independent: Make me a Sanctuary  Well, except for one thing.  Here is the image they used, and well, our boiler is probably at least 50 years old!  (If only our utilities were so small, tidy and up to date!) Hah.

Then we had a problem with my car--at first, the battery was old and the car wouldn't start in the intense cold.  (no surprise, even when it was plugged in.)  But then, this week, I noticed the tires did not look so good, and when that was being dealt with, uhh, the suspension and a wheel bearing all needed to be fixed.  Not actually surprising stuff considering my SUV is nearly 16 years old.  However, that was a pricey date at the auto repair garage! (Think...over $2400. Yup.)

And it snowed a lot, so we had to get the snow off the roof to avoid ice dams. (An hour and three guys up on the roof of a 2.5 story hundred year old house= not free)

Then today, I went to pick up my mom (who is visiting us, hurray!) at the airport, and I lost the parkade ticket for the first time ever, I think.  (charged full rate of $25.)  I am wondering what my next lucrative career opportunities might be, because writers/knitwear designers do not make enough to cover all this!

However, some things can be fixed.  This lett-lopi Bohus-style sweater is one designed by Norah Gaughan that I knit a long long time ago.  (Probably more than 10 years ago.)  I love this sweater.  It was getting fragile.  I washed it.  It came out with big holes in the sleeves.
The benefits of a deep stash?  I found the exact yarn that will match it.  I can fix these sleeves. And I will still have my beloved sweater.  So, some things can be fixed --and the cost of this repair of my sweater?  (free.)  Can't beat that.

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Tuesday, February 05, 2019

Deir Hart

True confessions, I was also knitting yet another hat during this cold snap. This time of year, I get bored of the every day woollies. I wrote a design to go along with it...and the tech editor approved it today.  It's now live and ready to knit!

Deir Hart

This fuzzy warm super bulky knit is perfect for your dear heart (The deir hart spelling is from an old Scottish ballad I read about recently) and's on sale so you can knit a fast one in time for Valentine's Day!

This hat is 40% off!!  Download the pattern now and use the coupon code:

until midnight, February 14th, (ends midnight, Central Time, US & Canada) and the pattern only costs $3US.

I used a fun combination of some alpaca and lett-lopi yarn in my stash to do the sample, but if you'd like to buy some super-bulky yarn and the pattern all at once, head on over to to find the pattern with yarn suggestions there, too. This design comes in three sizes, and will fit everybody from your preschooler to your biggest lumberjack!  Just change the yarn colors so they don't mix up their hats on the way out the door in the morning...

Enjoy--and stay warm!

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Monday, February 04, 2019


 I know there are people who continue to rush around outdoors even when it is -40 and the windchills are much lower.  Unlike much of the US upper midwest, Winnipeg didn't shut down last week.  This meant that believe it or not, my kids still got on the school bus, my professor went off to work last week.  Things sort of stalled out for me though.  By the time I got the kid with the cold back at school, and got Sally, the old dog eating, and the food made for dinner, there was precious little time left for much else.  Dog walks were difficult, as was waiting for the boys at the school bus stop.  I felt lucky I didn't have to commute...and I put off all but the most basic errands until it warmed up on Thursday, as well.

 However, somebody didn't read the school bus manual, because after a few days of those crazy cold temperatures?  On Thursday, the temperatures warmed up--a bit--but the buses were cancelled because there were so many accidents and buses whose lines froze, etc.  Also on Thursday, we realized my car wouldn't start, even though it had been plugged into the block heater timer.  
So, we plugged it directly into the outlet in an attempt to warm up the battery.  I drove the professor's car, and he took the bus, and we still got the kids to and from school.  Indoor recess is apparently a hotbed of paper doll activity, where my kids join several others in drawing and cutting out every kind of magical creature paper doll, and building a cardboard house for them, as well.
So what did I do from January 24th to about January 31st?  I worked on the computer, knit, cooked, and enjoyed the great indoors. (which still required woolens, by the way, even with the heat going full blast, it is hard to make inside toasty when it is so cold outside.)  Here is one of the things I worked on.  This is a new Stripe Freestyle for my kid who is outgrowing his old one!  It is getting short and I've had to knit patches on the one pictured in that link.  (It has been worn a lot and he loves it.)

I am using all Canadian yarns on this one.  Leftovers from On Track and Woolly and a light gray that somebody chose, but then changed his mind about, I think.  The yarns are from MacAusland's Woolen Mill and Custom Woolen Mills.    The kid in question thinks a natural colored white yarn, leftover from Woolly, will go best as the next stripe.

However, something happened.  The sweater is a nice, dense plush 34" around, on a size 8(5mm) needle.  And I did all this in a week, and I inflamed my upper back/shoulder a bit.  So, now I am back to only a few rows a day, until things calm down.  I've changed knitting styles and positions, but it still hurts! That's what comes of being too enthusiastic a knitter, I suppose...?!

Meanwhile, the conversation around hate doesn't take time off in the winter.  The restaurant where my knitting group meets was targeted recently.  So, today, it's -30 windchill, 6" (15 cm) of new snow blowing around, and we're still talking about hate crimes.  Dang.

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