Adventuring 2.0

I thought I was going adventuring a few weeks ago… That day has nothing on today.

After my midterm (which went very well, thanks for asking. I know the dairy cow life cycle inside and out), I hopped on a downtown bus and crossed something off the 101 Things list that I’ve been wanting to do for a while. I visited my local yarn store.

To say I was overwhelmed and delighted is an understatement. I have never seen so much high quality yarn in my life! Unfortunately, most of it cost more than my weekly grocery budget, but it was amazing.

I’ve never seen alpaca before, and I can’t believe what I was missing out on all these years! I wanted to go and buy all of it… The only problem I have with it (other than expense of course) is that it isn’t washable. What I would give for washable alpaca. Probably my first born child.

The lady working was wonderfully helpful and nice. She said that lots of young people come to their knit nights. My roommate crochets, so she said she would love to come with me sometime. I’m feeling a new ritual coming on…

I showed the lady the pattern I wanted to knit in order to feed my mitten obsession… She blanched and said “Wow, you’re brave”. That doesn’t sound too promising for my first go round with the stranded mitten patterns, but we’ll see how it goes.

Yes, that means I caved, and got mitten yarn. My hands have been cold all week, and it’s not cold enough yet to dig out my real mittens.

The yarn is Naturally Baby Haven, made in New Zealand. It’s 100% superwash merino. I’ve got colours #314 and #315. The pattern I’m planning on making is Chrysanthemum. That’s the plan anyway… We’ll see how long it takes me to get frustrated with all of the colourwork.

Yarn and pumpkins!

I also got some cute yarn ball stitch markers. I’m going to do a row of the sweater just so I can use them!

After my trip to the yarn store, I hopped on a bus and headed to the mall. I really needed a new travel mug, since mine was getting worn out. I picked one up from my favourite tea store – David’s Tea. They sell the greatest loose leaf teas, and that’s where my old travel mug came from. I invested in a sleek glass traveller… Great for someone who loves tea as much as I do! I also couldn’t resist buying their newest kind of tea, called “Stormy Night”, which includes vanilla, chocolate, coconut, and cinnamon. It sounds delicious and I can’t wait to try it!

My haul from David’s Tea!

It was quite the adventure. I’m going home tomorrow, and as usual, my biggest conundrum is what knitting to bring! Will it be the mittens, which require gauge and focus; the socks, which are great mindless knitting; or the big sweater, which hasn’t been getting any love lately?

Only time will tell. Either way, I’ll be going home with tea and yarn… Some of my favourite things.

Dreaming of Mittens

Before I went to bed last night, I did a Ravelry search of stranded mitten patterns.

When I woke up this morning, I thought about stranded mittens.

When I walked to school, I thought about stranded mittens.

I may have looked up yarn to purchase to make stranded mittens.

It’s an obsession and I have to stop! I have too much other knitting to do… For starters, basically an entire sweater, as well as all of the Christmas presents that are left.

Speaking of, I’ve made some good progress on my Dad’s socks. I’m at 4.5 inches out of 7 inches for the cuff/leg. I’ll be finished in no time. Tonight may not be the night though… I have a midterm tomorrow in my Agricultural Production Systems, Health, & Industry class (I know, it’s a mouthful). I’m hoping it won’t be too bad, as its my first midterm this semester and I’m totally out of practise.

As I write this, I’m sitting in the library, about to start studying, and I’m reminded of last year. It was first year, and I mostly knitted baby hats and socks.

I haven’t knit a pair of mittens in over a year.

I think I’m going to make mittens next.

That Certain Shade of Yellow

Today was one of those perfect fall days. I was walking to school, admiring the leaves, when I realized that I needed some mittens. Not thick winter mittens, but some fussy fall mittens. I have a number of patterns picked out already, I just need yarn…

And some self-control. I have to stick with the plan on all of this Christmas knitting. I’ve been working away on my Dad’s socks, and I’ve realized that I would like to make him another pair, with plainer yarn and a little more of a fancy pattern. Just to add something else to the list… However, they are staying at the bottom, and I’m only making them if I decide that I have enough time!

So what about this post is yellow?

Well, there’s the mustard shade in my Dad’s socks…

Dad’s socks

There’s also the colour of the leaves today…

This was actually last year on campus, but it looks the same today

There’s the sunset that I can’t wait to see this weekend…

The sunset from the farm… Hopefully it won’t be too cloudy for this

There’s the colour of my cat’s eyes, in photos that I found on my computer…

I realize that this is black and white so you can’t see the colours, but you know what I mean.

And then there’s something else. Something that isn’t yellow at all. This something is purple. It’s called Rett Syndrome. My sister has it, and it Awareness month. There’s a great blog that I read called Grace for Rett about a young girl in the UK who also has it. Her mom is a photographer, and she’s amazing.

Read it. Learn.

I’m sure tomorrow will be another yellow day.

But I’m secretly hoping that it will be purple.

Thanksgiving Blues

Today is one of those days where we must come back to reality. Everyone I know is in a down mood… I think it’s the lack of turkey and family. We’ve all come back to the reality that is midterms, lack of sleep, and stress.

For me, it’s not that bad. I have this weekend at home to look forward to, and only one midterm this week. I’ll have a decent amount of knitting time, and I hope to get these socks off the ground. The sweater is going to have to go on another hiatus for the time being, while the Christmas knitting consumes me.

Since I’ve exhausted my supply of television shows to watch at the present time, I’ve taken to listening to audiobooks while I knit. I’m loving it so far… It’s intellectually stimulating, and you don’t have to look at anything but your knitting while you do so. I can get these audiobooks free from my library at home online. It’s great for me, since it’s completely free and allows me to continue to utilize my library privileges while I’m here at school. I got completely sick of the library while I worked there this summer, but I’ve been away long enough that I’m craving books again.

To make matters worse, my boyfriend and I have been working our way through the Harry Potter movie series, and now all I want to do is go and read the books again. It’s actually quite difficult to choose between reading and knitting during my down time sometimes. I love the audiobooks; this way, I don’t have to choose.

Leftovers!

I’ve been staving off the Thanksgiving Blues with leftovers… Above was tonight’s meal. My mom came by yesterday to drop off some food. I love holidays that involve leftovers!

Now, time for some knitting and a cup of tea. I’ll get to that school work eventually.

Turkey Day

This weekend definitely didn’t go as planned… But it was still great! I made it to Nationals, which was a lot of fun. We went to Wonderland and Woodbine Racetrack in our spare time. The team finished second overall in Canada, and individually I came ninth. It was a lot of fun!

Unfortunately, I couldn’t make it home for Thanksgiving. Instead, I’ll be heading home next weekend. My mom visited today, on her way back from dropping off my older brother at school, with a full Thanksgiving dinner for me. I know what I’ll be eating for the next few days!

I also didn’t get anything done on the knitting. However, as I don’t have class until 5:30 tomorrow night, I have oodles of time to knit and relax. I’m glad that this semester is so relaxed… I feel as if it’s the calm before the storm, and I’m about to be bombarded with school work. Only time will tell I suppose.

I would love to put all of my photos from Nationals on the blog, but nearly all of them contain my teammates. I try not to post photos of others on the blog without asking them first, so I’m only able to put up photos that don’t include them. It’s too bad, since it won’t give you a feel for the overall experience, but hopefully it will give an accurate enough representation.

A horse being walked in the tack-up area before the race

The finish of the turf race

Racing!

One of the racehorses in the barn at Woodbine Racetrack. We got to go behind the scenes early in the morning in the barns and watch the exercise riders.

It was a great weekend, and maybe tomorrow I’ll have some more photos to post (hopefully of the knitting as well!). I’m so glad that I got to have this great experience of being a member of a National team, and I’m so proud of all of my teammates on our success!

These Socks Are Killing Me

I swear. This is the fourth time that I’ve ripped them out. This time, it was because I didn’t have the right size. Apparently, my father has extra-large, extra-wide feet… According to this pattern anyway.

I am beyond frustration, but these socks will be finished. They are coming with me this weekend, and I’ll finally get them going properly. No more ripping out, no more re-casting on.

I don’t know if I’ve ever done this much frogging on something so small and simple. I guess there’s a first time for everything! I’ll be glad when they are finished and I can start something else.

Now, back to packing. I thought I had everything in the two bags I brought, but it turns out that I forgot to throw in the knitting. I don’t know where I’m going to put it, but I’ll find a place. I’m sure of it.

I probably won’t be able to post until Tuesday, so until then, enjoy the weekend. For all of my Canadian readers, happy Thanksgiving!

The Smell of Flowers

Sometimes, things don’t go as planned. Like socks, for instance.

Those socks are out to get me. I swear. This morning, after finishing some of the cable section of the leg, I realized that using self-striping yarn for cabled socks isn’t too intelligent. I couldn’t see the cables at all. The sock pattern is really beautiful, and I didn’t want it to go to waste.

So what’s a girl to do? The only thing she could in a situation like this. We had a breakup. I ripped them back, completely and utterly. I’m planning to use that pattern for some yarn that I have for my brother for Christmas.

I re-wound the yarn and did a little gauge, and I’m planning to cast on for some vanilla socks for this wonderful yarn. I hope my dad doesn’t mind. Somehow, I don’t think he’ll notice too much.

In other news, movies and sweater-knitting nights are my favourite.

The sweater!

There it is (although apparently it turned out blurry). I’ve got 9 inches done so far! I love working with the yarn… It’s my favourite kind for a reason. It’s squishy and warm. I can’t wait for this thing to be a sweater. The pattern is just mindless enough for me to get really into a movie and yet still stay awake.

I love it.

As a result, I’m totally undecided as to what to bring home this weekend in terms of knitting. It’s Thanksgiving weekend here in Canada, which means a long weekend. I’m actually going to Toronto to compete at the National level with Pony Club. I’m excited, though not as excited as last year. That was my first year and we travelled to Calgary. I got to go to Spruce Meadows, and it was definitely a very cool experience. This year it’s a little closer to home, but I’m sure it will be a lot of fun. I’ll be heading home for Monday and most of Tuesday. I’m glad – I miss my family and of course my horses.

This begs the question… What to bring with me? I won’t have time to knit while I’m at Nationals, but I will have time when I’m at home. I’ve actually been thinking about it for about a week! You can tell where my priorities are…

Now. If you’ll excuse me, I have to go and do some studying for Nationals this weekend. There may be knitting. But most of all, there will be the smell of flowers.

Flowers from my boyfriend, just because. He’s the best.