I recently got back from an epic trip around Saskatchewan.  I didn’t know there were trees and lakes, well someone did tell me, but I didn’t believe them in the real way you believe in something that actually exists — like -40 degree weather, if you haven’t ever lived it, you don’t believe it exists.

But as I knew you might not believe me, I brought back proof:

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It really is genuinely beautiful, and certainly worth the trip.  Especially if you like hunting and fishing (or so I am told).

There were however, a few things that were of concern, like this sign:

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It’s like the earth will just swallow you up and just doesn’t fill one with confidence.

It was the farthest north I have ever been in my whole life and everything looks a little different.  So much so, that I persuaded the person I was with to stop the car so I could take a picture of the ground:

northernsk-3

Who knew lichen could be lush?

I have registered for a spinning course as part of my efforts to become part of the community here, which has inspired me to finish the following skein which I have been “working”* on for several months:

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After the course started, I immediately had to start travelling for my job, which is impinging on my spinning time dreadfully.

I need to wash/set it first, but I think I will count the yardage.  Maybe I have enough for an eccentric hat.  The knitting of said hat will be simple, it will only be eccentric because anything made out of this yarn, when worn on one’s head, must be considered eccentric — it’s the nature of the beast.

redyarn-2

*Had sitting idle on my wheel

I am almost finished my second sock.  The sock knitting is proceeding at an acceptable speed, but I am having a few hitches.  After completing the knitting on one of the socks and knitting to the end of the heel flap, I realized that I had completely misread the stitch pattern and had to rip out and reknit the first sock back to the heel shaping.

This is not good, because I did a similar thing on the last project I did from someone else’s pattern and had to rip that out too.  I think I may be getting over-confident and need to regain some humility — humility is not really my strong suit, especially where knitting is concerned.  I just figure I will figure it out and you can always rip it out and start again anyway (just don’t try this attitude with mohair).

That is really just a minor upset and a potential outcome of knitting ahead without reading through the whole pattern first — I run into the same problem with cooking and am used to dealing with it.  If I minded it that much, I would change.

The real problem was that I wanted to carry my smaller purse and threw my socks and needles in my pocket.  This was fine on the trip out, and I had a lovely time knitting in the coffee shop, but there was more of a problem coming back because I mustn’t have been careful enough putting on my seat belt and three needles broke in my pocket, so I haven’t been able to knit for the rest of the weekend.

I don’t think I will buy any fine needles in wood again.  I have been knitting with bamboo for years and never had one break or split, and my first set of wood needles broke on my first pair of socks.  The breakage was, I will admit, my fault, but one of them splintered a bit on the side before that, and that I don’t think I deserved.

I started my new job today.  My alarm went off at 6:15, to make sure I would get to work on time.  I got up made myself a lovely breakfast of slow cooking oatmeal with dates and almonds, got dressed in record time, got out the door with time to spare, and then about half way there, as we were coming up to the train tracks that I didn’t even know were there, the lights started flashing.

Yes a train made me late for my first day of my new job.  It was positively farcical — the train traveled up the tracks, then backed up a bit, then another train came up beside it, then the first train moved forward and back again.  Finally twenty minutes later the road was clear, and I could finally get to work.

I am glad I had a bit of time off, because if that had happened a few weeks ago I would have been ready to jump out of my skin.

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On second thought I have two new family members: my uncle has recently had a baby and my sister recently got married.  It’s good to have more family.  Strictly speaking my brother-in-law is the newer family member, but I am not breaking my no hand knitted presents rule for him (as happy as I am to have him), no it is my baby cousin who makes the grade.

I realize that babies are almost fictional beings to me — I have no idea of how big they are, what they do, or what they like.  The main thing that I remember from my babysitting training is that they don’t like being stuck with diaper pins, even if it is by accident, and it is always better to put the baby down than shake it.  So you see, though those points, I am sure, are quite valid, my knowledge is somewhat limited.

I requested a book from the library (The Expectant Knitter: 30 Designs for Baby and Your Growing Family by Marie Connolly) I went to the yarn store and asked about it.  Apparently, you should never knit the newborn size and babies don’t like holey things because their fingers get caught in them — I can see that could be frustrating.  Here is the beginning of the project I came up with:

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It is the “cashmere romper” (Ravelry link), but I am knitting it in machine washable cotton.  I don’t think the parents will want to hand wash cashmere and I think the baby will like cotton — I know I do.

I have to say that I am almost ready to knit myself a cotton romper and not care if it looks silly.  I used to have one when I was a teenager and wore it all the time.  I was remarkably odd, but I loved it.  I wish I had kept it, then I could cut it apart and create a new one — but it is probably just as well I didn’t.

Of course one hears a great deal about drinking and driving and how it is a very bad thing, but I have got other things quite wrong while tipsy as well.

A few weeks ago I was in Vancouver and having a glorious time — though I did do something quite painful to my foot then have to stand around for several hours in high heels at my sister’s wedding, which made it swell up and change colour quite impressively.

The first night there I went out for dinner and shopping with a friend.  We went to Zeffirelli’s on Robson street, which is lovely as the food is good and not too expensive and the windows all open across one side, and you can look out into the trees.  In case you were wondering I did not notice any particular problem with birds or bugs coming in.

We ate our pasta and slurped our wine and then we went shopping, and I am somewhat ashamed to admit it, but I actually bought an acrylic sweater.  It was just so pretty and exactly what I wanted, except it was acrylic and I thought it would be no big deal, but in the morning I felt like I had sucked a lemon.  I have to say that I didn’t return it though because it was just so cute and the decision was already made, but I really don’t think I would have done it without the expansiveness of the wine helping out.  I guess it is a little like going grocery shopping hungry.

A couple of months ago, again in Vancouver, I went out with my sister, again for Italian food — I love Italian food, and again had wine with (and before) dinner.  It just took so long for them to seat us and the nice servering staff kept coming to the waiting area and taking drink orders.  Then when we left I paid and then when I woke up in the morning I realixed that I had left a 40% tip (on a fairly substantial bill), apparently because I can’t be trusted to do math while drinking either.

The funny thing is that I was not particularly drunk on either occasion, I guess there is a not very deeply buried part of me that likes to buy acrylic sweaters just because they are really cute and tip extravagantly (or else someone who is just bad at math).  I wonder if that part is more fun than the rest of me. . .

So much has happened since I last wrote.  My sister is married, but not living with the man she is married to, and I am living with a man I am not married to — everything is as it should be more or less (my sister would be quite happy to live with the man she is married to, but I am happy to be living with the man I am not married to).

I got to a bride’s maid for the first time. Which of course means being primped:

hairdo

You can’t tell, but I have a nice cup of coffee in my hands, so it is all good.

I have moved to the thriving metropolis of Regina.  We are very happy with our new apartment and are still putting everything together.  Due to not being in the province the week before we moved (see previous paragraph), we paid movers to pack for us.  This led to us paying to move an empty Snapple bottle and other random objects of no continuing value.

Finally, I have decided to change — what better time for new years type resolutions than moving to another city.  I am quite suspicious of trying to accomplish anything great that you start at the beginning of January — I prefer September and my birthday overall, but surely a new city gives you the potential for a whole new start.  If it doesn’t make you feel too tired or exasperated at my lack of initiative (it really could go either way), here is a shortened list of new initiatives:

I have started running.

I have started outsourcing my knitting when I don’t have time to knit all my samples.

I have decided to keep the place cleaner (what else am I doing with my time anyway? — well aside from knitting, please see previous item).

I have decided to stop getting so worked up about work — it’s just a job after all.

I have started knitting a pair of socks (yes, socks — it’s a red letter change).

I have decided to many other things besides, some of which I can’t recall and some of which I don’t care to share.

I will leave you with a glipse of the brilliance that is my sock:

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Surely only good things will come of this.

Yesterday was my last day at my job — it is absolutely terrifying to quit the best job you ever had, but now I am kind of enjoying the reversion to my earlier state of looking forward to the next new thing.

I have had a wonderful time in my last days of work — it was like the pope died.  There were more or less three days of festivities with everyone making a fuss over me.  Other people, when they leave, request that nothing happen, I instead said everyone could do whatever they wanted, and they came up with the three days of making a fuss.  That worked out perfectly, because I like it when people make a fuss, but it is awkward to request the fuss yourself.

Soon we will be moving to the fair city of Regina.  The house is, as my mother would say, a bit of a tip — I think we decided to get ready to move too soon, which encouraged us to take everything out of the cupboards and drawers and not put it back.

I tried to sell the dreaded knitting machine the problem is that I am just not that interested in production work, though the thought of being able to make breezy little cardigans that would easily fit under a coat in a few days has a wonderful amount of appeal.  No one however, seems the least inclined to buy it, so I think I will keep it and see if I can get it going.

We have a lovely place lined up in Regina — it has, wait for it . . . a bathtub.  It is good when you can take pleasure in the little things.  It also doesn’t have a yard and as anyone who is a longtime reader will know I am not much of a gardener, so overall an improvement in accomodation, and there are all new restaurants there, including a lovely Afghan one, which has us quite excited.

So basically my life has intruded into my knitting and I don’t have much to say on that front yet, but I promise I am getting there.

I feel like I have been knitting feather and fan all summer (which I kind of have been doing):

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I am really enjoying exploring the possibilities of the pattern.  I will give you more details about the projects later.

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I am also over the moon because I have received my very first acceptence for a crochet pattern.  In life I think it really doesn’t get much better than that.

I apologize for ignoring you so badly for the last few days.  I am working on moving and other things.  A quick update:

I have a place to live, which is very exciting as Regina has a 0.7% vacancy rate.   It’s crazy.  Strangers come up to you if you are in a coffee shop looking at the classifieds and ask if you are looking for a place to live, then make a face when you say that you are.  It is a lovely place so we are happy.

I have 10 more days at my job.

I will be a bridesmaid in my sister’s wedding this month, and I haven’t tried on my dress yet — I bought it off the Internet.  I so sincerely hope it fits.

We have movers lined up.

My most recent major knitting project with a deadline has been completed and sent.

I need to go through everything and get rid of everything I don’t need as we will be charged by the pound.

I am feeling a bit overwhelmed, so I will likely continue to post sporatically for the next few weeks, but will be back on the horse in September — I promise.

April 2017
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