Friday, February 25, 2011

This is a month I won't miss much

February can be quite unattractive any year, but the one we are having in 2011 will certainly be a record-beater. We aren't out of the woods yet - there's another system barrelling its way toward us as I write - this time, we will get rain and freezing rain as well as snow, so perhaps we will lose some of the piles and piles of snow left from previous storms. And, of course, perhaps we will lose our electricity and be in the dark for days. Only time will tell, and luckily I have knitting to keep me busy. I suppose we can count this a sign of spring, that we are getting rain as well as snow. I'm trying for optimism here.
This is the last day of Fred's medical leave (per se) so he's in town today getting errands done and the like. We went to the gym at lunchtime, so after work we'll be able to pick up a couple of movies and a big bunch of groceries, and head straight home to hunker down with fingers firmly crossed that the power stays on.
My lovely sister sent me a care package of yarns from the West coast with a friend who was visiting - 2 skeins of Berroco Ultra Alpaca (colour above), 2 skeins of Jacques Cartier Qiviuk Merino Silk (80% merino, 15% qiviut, 5% silk) in lime, 1 skein of Jacques Cartier Cashmere in dark blue, and 2 skeins of Jacques Cartier Heavenly Alpaca in green. The latter is laceweight - I think a shawl or fine scarf is in order. I have one other skein of the same, in a blue-green, with which I tried to make the Yarn Harlot's Pretty Thing - but it's too fine for that. I don't know if it would work for my cowl-and-fingerless gloves combos. The Berroco surely will, however, as it's a worsted weight. Ah me! Off to seek out the perfect pattern from my patterns drawer in the filing cabinet!

Monday, February 21, 2011

Islander Day or February Holiday - whatever, I'll take it.

It's been another few days of bad weather - not a storm per se, but chilly and flurrying and, on Saturday when we got back from Halifax, quite a lot of snow and blustery. Ah well. It has to be over soon.
We had spent 3 days in Halifax because Fred had a medical procedure - didn't do any yarn shopping but I did get a nice haircut - and we visited the new Pier 20 Farmers' Market too. There were free outdoor concerts every noon and evening because of the Canada Games. Katie was going to the evening ones. We ate at Heartwood on Quinpool and the Wooden Monkey too - that was lovely.
We did go for a walk in the outdoors today (it's better than having to take the car to the gym) and, except that I didn't really wrap up properly it was lovely. I'd wished I'd taken the camera with me (but I didn't go back afterward). High tide and lovely pristine snowbanks make a really nice combination. I love the look of the land covered with snow and open water.
Got a fair bit of knitting done on a shawl today - I am trying to get back into the 11 shawls in 2011 - and there's a KAL in the Beginning Lace group on Ravelry which is working on "Ethereal" which is quite nice. Because of all my lace-yarn shopping I have quite a bit so I should be able to make 20 or 30 before running out of yarn or patterns.

The FO thread on the 11 in 2011 group is an inspiring place to find new patterns and great colour combinations. I saw a two-tone shawl in KidSilk and thought - that might be the solution for the several single balls of KidSilk in stash. I am thinking a green and beige or red and beige might be nice. I have two of sapphire blue so those should make a proper size shawl (they are 212 metres each). And I still have that big skein of fleece artist Mo which is over 500 metres. I must be afraid of the mohair as I avoid it so sedulously. Anyway, this ill-placed photo is Ethereal in Knit Picks baby alpaca. As usual it looks like a pile of tangled string, but when it is blocked it should be quite nice.
I forgot to mention that I was wearing my Bitterroot on Thursday when Fred went in for his assessment at 7 am - I found a parking spot, paid for an hour, and went to Starbucks for coffee, where I knit and listened to podcasts (and read The Coast). Then I did the haircut, and then realized I'd left my Bitterroot at Bucky's! Went back (parking by the Public Gardens) and it was there! Some kind Haligonian had turned it in. The one girl who was working there told me how VERY nice it was - I think maybe she was going to get to claim it if I hadn't turned up by the end of her shift. Then later I almost left it at the Wooden Monkey. Sheesh. You would think I don't appreciate the amount of work that goes into these things.

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Another One! Oh No!

Yes, incredible as it may seem, we had another considerable snowfall yesterday and last night, combined with 70 kph wind overnight and this morning. Schools are closed, and the Bridge is closed to high-sided vehicles (it's a NW wind this time, you see). Most of our storms to date have been Nor'easters. I come to work on the private road from Mt. Edward Road to the Mall, this year the site of the Jack Frost Festival (on this weekend) and they are having NO trouble keeping their snow sculptures and skating rink frozen *this* year. No indeed.
It's all good for the knitting and the manipulation of seedlings. Looking at garden catalogues does engender a bit of a sense of disbelief, however (looking out at the hip-deep snow in the front yard). Working on the second of my Mockery socks, and trying to NOT cast on anything else until I get these two pairs of socks well and truly finished. But my mind is reeling with possibilities.

Sunday, February 6, 2011

Yet another Snow Day!

This is getting to be a habit. We have had *two* snowstorms this week - Wednesday night and Sunday. Luckily the expected 25-30 cm. of snow came in the form of rain this morning (changing back to snow later), so we don't have quite as much of the white stuff to shovel. The wind's picked up, however, and it's not a great day to get out and walk, as it was yesterday! The photo on the left was taken when we walked up "the back road" on a beautiful, sunshiny yesterday.
Ah well, we will get our exercise shovelling!
Two at-home days mean that I got lots of reading and knitting done - making good progress on Kilt hose stocking No. 2, with the top bit all finished and just about the amount you would have to do on a *regular* sock left. And of course it's in a much bigger gauge than my usual socks - so it should be a breeze.

Just to keep things interesting I'm making a regular-sized sock from a pattern called "Mockery", with a subtle flat cable - looks really interesting! In a cotton/wool/nylon mixture I got at WalMart or Zellers in a mill ends bag. It's looking like I will get two socks out of a skein, and I bought two bags of the mill ends, so enough for 12 pairs of socks. I am loving the subtle colouring - light ecru background, with striping in light grey and beige. I may well get sick of it by the time I make 12 pairs, but I'm fine with it so far. I am using 2.0 mm. needles which is making a lovely firm fabric. The yarn has been confirmed as Patons Stretch Sock (mill ends are *usually* Patons or Bernat) - they have just released seven new colourways (and the formula seems a bit different as well) and mine is called "nougat". I am so pleased to finally identify it! I've been checking back at Z and W but no joy finding any more. Makes me realize I should go with it when I see something interesting, though!
I got Robin McKinley's new book, "Pegasus" at the library on Friday and I've just finished it. As usual with McKinley, I'm a bit breathless at the end, more so than ever this time because it is a 2-parter - and the second part isn't yet written! I was going to hold out until they were both finished, but when I saw it on the new books list at the library I clicked - and I got it! I must be the first person to read this copy. Now to wait - until 2012 - for part 2!