Saturday, October 29, 2011

Autumn has arrived in British Columbia, Canada

My granddaughter is all decked out in warm clothing for Autumn. I'd knitted the sweater to fit her when she was about 18 months old, however she is now 14 months old, and I think the sleeves need to be made longer. Length of the sweater is fine, but I may have to fix the sleeves so she can wear it a bit longer.

We've had more time with both of our grandchildren lately and watching our granddaughter learn to talk, walk, and of course try to grab the dogs' tails is just the most wonderful feeling in the world.

Maggie is 7 months old now, and she's injured her left hind knee. The Vet told us she needed surgery, but we checked out information online, and we kept her as quiet as we could for 5 days and then slowly allowed her to be free in the house and to go on walks with a leash on. She has no pain now and wants to run, plus she is walking without any limp. It is time to reconsider finding a new Vet.

I seem to be in the start project mode again. Have several on needles that I just had to start but finishing at this point, isn't happening as quickly as I'd hope. I did injure my right shoulder when Maggie pulled me down several weeks ago and now my rotator cuff is inflamed. Still have pain with it but I do try to get some knitting done as I have Christmas gifts to make.

Decided to make a dress for my granddaughter and while it is slow going, I'm making myself do several long rows each day. Did make three pairs of clogs and now just need a day to felt them. Working on a cowl for my daughter for Christmas, and I was going along happily and then checked and I had one twist in it. I thought about making it a moebius but later decided to frog it and start over. Now there is no twist, and it is the seed stitch so it is pretty mindless knitting for me.

I keep wanting more yarn. I did use up Cascade 220 from my stash to make the clogs and used up leftovers and felt good about it. Yet, when I saw that Mission Falls Wool was on sale at Elann online, I just caved and bought some to make a sweater for my grandson or maybe my granddaughter. Bought some cocoa colour and also some teal and pink.

I keep looking at new yarns and wanting to try them, but I now have to consider that my stash is huge and working from it is important. I will find yarns that I think I need, and then I consider the cost and the fact that I have enough yarn to make at least 10 sweaters and that gets me centred again.

Yarn Harvest was a lot of fun again this year. Three other guild members rode in the car with me and thankfully at least one of them had a better sense of direction than I did. My GPS is a portable one and not totally up to date. However, it was a great day and I got to know two members a lot better.

My granddaughter is fearless around the dogs. While we do have to keep an eye on them and her, the dogs are very gentle with her, while she isn't always that gentle with them. My grandson can't tell them apart anymore as Maggie is getting so big, and he prefers Millie to Maggie because Millie isn't always trying to jump up on the couch to be next to him.

You'd think that as a grandmother I'd be wanting to knit lots of items for my grandchildren. I asked my grandson if he wanted me to make him some felted slippers. He politely declined. He prefers me to buy him toys and Pokemon cards that he's totally into right now. And to me, grandmothers do what their grandchildren ask if at all possible. He turned 5 years old yesterday and we do enjoy playing games on my I-phone when he is visiting. We also play lego, read stories and I try to get him to show me how well he reads and to put puzzles together as we used to do. He is more interested in lego and stories and of course TV and games on my I-phone.

I plan to make him a vest as his mum wants one but it will have to wait until I've finished some of my unfinished projects. Plan is to finish a sweater, the dress for my granddaughter, the cowl, felt the clogs and make several pairs of fingerless gloves out of leftover yarn before Christmas. Now to get them either finished or started is the order of business.

Saturday, August 13, 2011

The Dog Days of Summer

I've been very lax in writing here for several months now. We got another Golden Retriever at the end of May and Maggie is now best friends with our 3 year old Golden, Millie. Maggie is 4 months old as of this writing and she is so different than Millie. Where Millie is submissive towards other dogs unless she knows them, Maggie just approaches any dog and wants to know them. She's played with other puppies at a dog park and could care less where I am during her play time.

But at 4 months old she can sit and stay for 45 seconds, lie down and stay for the same amount of time and also can roll over on command and shake both paws. She has learned what 'leave it' means and also 'drop it'. She is now in puppy training at Pet Smart, but she's the most advanced dog there. I have to keep her entertained with sitting and lying down and giving her treats while the trainer is talking and talking about stuff that I already know. But it is good for Maggie to learn to deal with distractions like all the other young puppies that she wants to play with and she's not allowed to do so during class.

My life has gotten very busy with dogs it seems. Millie still goes to day care 2-3 days a week, and Maggie and I walk or go to a safe dog park, but it's getting to the point where I'd just rather have both dogs with me and all the walking I do is great exercise for me.

My knitting just isn't happening. I'm working on one project which is a secret gift for someone in the Fraser Valley Knitting Guild and I must finish it by the end of September. I did sort through my huge stash or 'epic' stash as one of my knitting buddies called it, and she is taking some yarn from me for 50% off of what I paid for it. It still doesn't leave a big dent in my craft room but it is a beginning. Plus, I organized again and got inspired to make some more sweaters. I have enough yarn to make a huge blanket that would probably cover our house, but of course I'm not doing that.

My granddaughter is one now and she is walking so the dogs have to be outside when she comes to visit or they'll knock her over. My grandson does walk with me and the dogs and he loves Millie and she is easier for him to handle.

When your life begins to revolve around dogs, it is time to refocus and get yarn out and spend time making a sweater for someone for Fall. I did make the Contented Cardigan for myself and I'm very pleased with it. Madeline tosh yarn is just delightful to knit with and I do have more to make a couple more sweaters. I've made a few Christmas gifts, but just can't seem to get in the knitting mood lately.

I've been here before so I know this will pass, but for now I'll keep working on selling some stash and knitting up larger amounts in sweaters.

Yarn Harvest is coming up and a knitting buddy suggested that I literally go through my stash and I won't be tempted to spend more money on yarn. I will do that, but if I find some Madeline tosh in a different colour or some Sweet Georgia worsted in enough quantities to make a sweater, I'll just have to purchase it.

Maggie did see my yarn on the floor last night as I was sorting some good yarn and she quickly took a ball and left the room. I thought she was just coming to check where I was, but no. She was stealing some St. Denis yarn that I'd bought awhile ago to make mittens. It was stuck on the staircase, around the dog bowls, out the patio door and up some steps to the upper level and filled with grass and of course in a tangled mess. I couldn't find the tag so I wasn't sure which yarn it was, but this morning she presented the tag to my daughter who had spent the night. I spent over 2 hours detangling it but Maggie didn't get yelled at. I just laughed at my very silly puppy.

Saturday, March 12, 2011

The King's Speech and Knitting in the Dark

As those who live in British Columbia, Canada know, it rains a lot here. My husband and I have been wanting to see The King's Speech on a Saturday or Sunday afternoon, but only if it was a rainy day. It seems that we'd have rain forecast for a weekend and then it would be sunny or only cloudy. So of course we wanted to be outside either walking Millie or just being outside.

As it rained this morning, a Saturday, cleared up a bit and then when I was out walking Millie, it started to drizzle, we decided that today was the day to see the film.

My favourite yarn shop,88 Stitches had their annual customer appreciation day today, and of course I didn't need more yarn, but I did want to see if there was some Sweet Fiber Yarns that I could purchase in a light grey for a dear friend in California, or find some teal coloured fingering weight yarn for another shawl. Now my stash is huge, and if you find me or know me on Ravelry as CynthiaW, you will know what I mean.

I couldn't find the right grey for my friend as she wanted 2 skeins of it, and it is a new colour for Spring. However, I did find some teal that had some black in it in Sweet Sock yarn, and I just had to purchase it. I also picked up another skein of Sweet Sock yarn in pinks and purples. When I returned home, I realized that I already had one skein of the teal/black in Sweet Sock yarn and one in pink /purple. The pink/purple that I already had is much lighter than the one I did buy, so that worked out perfectly. As I like shorter shawls, I will finish a pair of socks that have been sitting on the needles for so long that I swear the needles are attached to the yarn. And the Sweet Sock yarn would be beautiful for a pair of socks for someone for Christmas.

Not wanting to spill my drink or get buttery popcorn on my new yarn, I left it in the car. Thankfully my husband's car is one that is very difficult to break into. And I did check to make sure all the doors were really locked. I'm sure there must be some yarn thieves out there, but I can't picture any of the knitters that I know who would do that.

The theatre was dark and we sat at the very top. We had about 20 minutes before the film began, so I pulled out a scarf in the round that I'm making for my daughter in the green colours that she looks so amazing in. As it is knit one round and purl one round at this point, I figured that I could manage it in the dark. I did all right and don't think I dropped any stitches but I still haven't checked to be sure.

However, once the film began, I stopped knitting at times so that I wouldn't miss anything. Then I'd pick it up and was able to knit by feel. I've only been seriously knitting for about 8 years now so I was feeling very proud of myself.

The film was wonderful and the only thing or rather actor who disappointed me was the actor who played Winston Churchill. I'm very, very distantly related to that Churchill family and the actor didn't look like how I'd like to look when I'm even older than I am right now. I'm older than dirt as it is, but I certainly don't look like this actor. Of course it was all in fun for me. Whether my family is really related to the Winston Churchill family was proven by me when I was into genealogy. However one of my cousins has also done genealogy and he thinks that we're related to another Churchill family. Doesn't really matter of course and I don't drink or smoke cigars, so maybe my cousin is right.

I have noticed that knitting in the dark isn't as difficult as I thought it would be. Also, I do find even with mindless knitting, I miss a lot of information on the television when I'm knitting. Most television can be skimmed, but occasionally I really want to see and listen to become more informed and with some of my favourite crime shows, I can't remember what happened in the end of a repeated show because I was busy doing lace work, intarsia, or fair isle and not totally paying attention.

I'm sure that I will continue to knit in the theatre. But some films are to be savored and enjoyed and The King's Speech was one that I know I will want to see again. I may have missed some important things that I'll be able to see when it comes out on DVD.

I'm working on a teddy bear hat for my granddaughter to fit her at Christmas. I'm making the teddy bears a bit bigger than what the pattern says, but then I'm using sport weight yarn rather than the worsted that the pattern calls for. I'm also working on a sweater for my granddaughter which I hope will fit her in the Fall. At this point, it seems big enough to be worn as a dress for this 7 month old darling little girl.

My thoughts and prayers go out to all the people in Japan right now. My dear daughter-in-law and my two precious grandchildren are in Okayama right now. I did get an email from my daughter-in-law and although I knew they were south of Toyko, I still wanted to make sure they were fine and that her family was fine. One of her relatives did lose their home, but they are safe. I've had several old friends, current friends and relatives contact me about my daughter-in-law's family. Most of them didn't know that my daughter-in-law and my two grandchildren were in Japan.

A man years ago worked through his studdering, and Japan will rebuild itself as it did after WW11. With a bit of help from the world, it will return to being the safe and beautiful country that it is.

Thursday, January 27, 2011

Grief is exhausting

My dear mother-in-law died on January 18th. Then I got a letter from a friend from my childhood telling me that her mom had died on January 7th. I just sat on the stairs and had a good cry. Three deaths of significant women in my life all within one month was just too much for me to bear. However, I have good friends who are very supportive, and also children who not only are grieving for their grandmother, but are also understanding of my grief. My husband of course is grieving the loss of his mom, so I'm trying to do whatever I can to support him.

Her belongings were moved from her apartment in independent living to our home last Saturday and now we're in the process of bagging up things that can be donated and separating things that I think my sister-in-law would want.

I never realized just how exhausting grieving could be. I know all the stages of it, have grieved before, but this is the hardest grief that I've ever experienced in my life. I sleep in, take naps, and just doing simple daily activities is becoming a chore.

I did finish the sweater that I'd been working on for my 4 year old grandson and even got him to wear it. He said it was a little bit itchy around the neck. It is a tad long for him, but as our Winter seems to be heading to Spring faster than was expected, it will fit him next Winter.

Since I can't seem to focus long enough to work on a shawl that I'd planned to finish in the next month or so, I'm working on the scarf in memory of Gayle, another mindless scarf, and now the Eternity Scarf. I'm using Madelinetosh DK in the colour logwood for the Eternity Scarf, and working with this yarn is delightful.

I'm now taking Millie to doggy day care at Bark 'N Lounge three times a week, so she can play with her buddies, get exercise, and I can rest or try to do things around the house without having to plan for her daily walks. Today we did go to a dog park and she had fun running and playing with a beagle and also was more tolerant to a beautiful German Shepherd who seems to have taken a shine to Millie. He definitely became alpha dog around her and seemed to want to protect her from other dogs that ran up to her. It was quite cute to see as previously she's been quite timid around Roco, but today she walked with him as his owner and I walked around the dog park to get our exercise and let them enjoy a day without rain. They both did get a bit muddy, but it is easy to wipe it off of Millie when we get home and then brush it later.

I sold some yarn the other day and need to sort my huge stash and decide what I want to part with. It is just a matter of getting motivated to sit and label yarn and then find the best evening to take it to the knitting guild to sell it to members. I could sell more on Ravelry, but again it seems like a lot of work for me to do right now.

This too shall pass. I just want it to pass quicker than it is doing. Time heals. All the usual sayings are so true, but living in grief isn't easy. I did get to play with my grandchildren the other day and for awhile, I was happy. Then I realized that my 5 month old granddaughter will never know her great-grandmother. My mother-in-law was a beautiful lady. She was proper, she was kind, and she listened to me when I talked to her about everything. She never judged anyone, and was always willing to spend time with others. She is greatly missed.