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.

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#54

Today’s post is about #54. On my list of 101 things, #54 reads: Knit a really scary pattern.

This is what I’m working on right now. I started the Hat Heel Socks on Saturday afternoon. It’s the strangest construction of a sock that you’ve ever seen… You knit a little hat for the heel, then two gussets (like ear flaps for the hat) then the foot, then the cuff. Go look. You’ll be shocked.

Anyway. I had to learn how to do the magic toe up cast on for these socks. I did it! I was so excited. I did the heel “hat” and the two gussets by Sunday night. I then proceeded to try it on, and…. It was too small. I was so upset. So, I ripped it out and started over, this time a size up.

These socks are going to be a gift for someone, so I want them to look perfect. I feel as if I will be ripping them out again. Regardless, I haven’t made much progress with this new size yet. You’ll see:

Some blurry progress of #54, knit a scary pattern.

It’s just a tiny little nub, so far.

The blurry Nub that is the Hat-Heel Socks.

My camera didn’t focus in for this picture very well, but you can see that the socks are just a nub so far. After more Olympic viewing this evening, they will be much larger!

That wasn’t all that happened this weekend. I’ll show you what happens when you have two days off and non-stop Olympics.

This is what my coffee table looks like after a weekend with two days off and non-stop Olympics.

It isn’t a pretty sight, but it means that knitting was accomplished. Even needle rolls have moved on from the planning stage… I now have fabric!

Those pink blobs that you see there? Those are what I have dubbed “The Fuzzballs”. Remember those tube socks I was going to make for my sister, out of that crazy soft yarn? Well, I’ve started. Just a little ribbed cuff at the top and then straight stockinette from there on out. They are quick and easy, if I can just get over the bits of fuzz that end up everywhere.

A closeup of the Fuzzballs.

These are going to be super quick, but I’m glad I decided to go for tube socks. I don’t think I would even be capable of seeing the stitches to pick up.

The Fuzzballs.

They’re also a little strange… The fuzz tends to come out more on the purl sides. So the ribbing is just a mess of fuzz, but then the inside is fuzzier than the outside when you get to the stockinette part. I guess this is a good thing… It means the warmer, fuzzier side is the inside.

I also spent a little quality time with the weaving in box. The products? Hat: finished. Sampler Texture Socks: Finished. My sister’s socks from the beginning of the year: not quite finished.

This is what happens when you spend some time with the weaving-in basket.

There they are! I just have a wee bit more to do with my sister’s socks… I think there’s literally 3 more ends to weave in and then the box will be empty! For the time being, anyway.

I also realized that I have yet to show you the hat, officially finished.

The hat!

Don’t you just love when I’ve had the day off? I come back with photos!

Gosh, that photo of the hat turned out really well. It’s a little small, so I’ve decided that it will be for my sister. She’s going to have a pile of knitting for Christmas this year!

PS. 101 things list: I’m up to 17/101, with many in progress!

Less

Today I’m “less” everything. Book-less, lunch-less, knitting-less. I’m at work, and I’m focus-less.

The knitting-less thing is really starting to get to me. I have tomorrow off (finally) so I’m planning to make a dent in the weaving-in-ends pile. It’s getting a little excessive. I’m also hoping to get something on the needles as soon as possible. I’m definitely going to cast on for a couple of things; I need some vanilla-zone-out-and-nod-off-knitting as well as something a little more convoluted. I can’t wait to sit by the Olympics and knit again tonight.

Is it sad that I can’t wait to sit and watch Olympics and knit? I’m a teenager; I should be partying and having a great social life! That’s what school is for, I guess.

I’m also hoping to get some photos up tomorrow of the finished hat (once the ends are woven in of course) and my current Christmas knitting pile. I know it’s way too early for the C-word, but I need to get some focus if I’m going to seriously do some Christmas knits this year. I’m actually getting excited for the December grind, when I’m working on 5 different projects at once, and all I do is knit in every spare moment.

I’m so looking forward to some time off this weekend. I’ve been busy these past couple of weeks; when I’m not working, I’m doing something. It’ll be nice to have a little time to re-energize before my last 4 days of work then vacation! I’m learning that I really do need time to myself to just relax. It makes me happier and I’m more productive.

In Canada, this is a long weekend. I have plans on Monday, but that means I actually get two days off in a row! And tomorrow, Olympic Show Jumping is on, early in the morning. I’m feeling some breakfast-in-pajamas-knitting-early time coming on! I used to do that a lot during the winter Olympics in Torino in 2006. It seemed like every day was a snow day too, so we were home from school a lot.

Gosh, all this talk of Christmas and winter… Looks like I’m ready for fall!

The Daily Grind

Back to the daily grind after a weekend of horse showing! It was a crazy good weekend, but very long, tiring and busy. My horse wasn’t as good as I had hoped she would be on Day 1 for the Showjumping… She refused many of the jumps. They were a lot bigger than we had jumped before though, so she did well under the circumstances.

On Day 2 we had dressage, and she was much better behaved! We received an 8th in our first test and a 7th in our second; I was very proud of her. We were competing against some very good horses, so I was happy with her results!

The rest of the team did very well. We had many first, second, third, and fourth place ribbons, as well as two reserve champions! I was so proud of them all. The best part – watching our youngest member, a seven year old, on the her tiny little pony, do her dressage test. They looked so cute trotting around together, and the whole team was there to watch. They received a first, second, and third on each of their tests too!

The weekend in pictures:

Domino’s home for the weekend

Here we go, into the show jumping ring

Over the scary green and purple jump!

Domino taking a look at the scary yellow fence

This is what a refusal looks like… We had a bunch of those

Day 2 – Dressage

7th & 8th in Dressage, and Turnout Champion! Glad we know how to look pretty!

Stick a fork in me…

… I’m done!

Sampler Texture Socks, from The Big Book of Socks by Kathleen Taylor, unknown yarn from the stash

And again

There they are. My photography skills are pretty good too… I took those pictures, and they are my feet. The trick? My full length mirror that sits on the floor. Not the greatest floor to take pictures on with the grey carpet, but who cares.

The socks are pretty snazzy if I do say so myself. The pink toes don’t look too odd either.

If you look closely, you’ll notice that the decreases for the toes are different. The pink toe is done following the pattern, and it fits much better. The first sock is the screw up sock, except it has the proper yarn. I don’t mind too much… I never make two things the same, even if they are part of a pair.

And I even did some work on the Zoomobile socks last night.

Zoomobile

The first Zoomobile sock

I need to do some measuring, but I think that the rest of this sock will knit up quickly. I hope so anyway… I’m already bored.

In other news:

1. My pony had his first bath ever today. Not even a real bath; we didn’t use shampoo. He only thought the hose was going to eat him for the first 5 minutes. Tomorrow we use shampoo… This pony hasn’t seen soap in all of his 14 years. Gross!

2. The official decision has been made: Domino won’t be going to University with me this fall. She’s safer and happier at home, and I don’t worry about her there. I’ll also be able to focus more on school. Sometimes you have to do what you have to do.

The Horses

The horses this morning, enjoying the 35 degree (Celsius) weather at 10 am

There they are, my babies.

Progress? Check. Thanks for sticking with me guys. I’ve finally given you something interesting to look at. Hopefully more finished socks soon, and whisperings of new projects will be coming your way shortly…

A Thursday List

1. OMG I’ve been surfing the blog-sphere and I’ve found something amazing. I kind of want to try it. Kind of. I found it from a post on the lululemon blog, which then linked me to the real blog that they featured in the post (confused yet?). The blog is called 12 Months of Lent and its all about goal setting… With a twist. The writer picks something she’s always wanted to try/do/improve, and dedicates a month to it. Some of her challenges are fun, some are not. I’ve been reading through the blog and it’s addicting!

2. Writing: I’ve got 3 chapters done on each book I’ve been working on. I discovered that if I sit down at the computer and think about writing a chapter instead of writing a book, the words come to me a lot better. I also print each chapter after I finish it, so I can watch the pages physically stack up. It’s like watching your knitting grow; I just can’t wait to keep writing so I can watch it get bigger! Inspiration comes in the strangest forms!

I had this quote on my wall in sticky notes all year. Read it. Live it. (And for me, that means write it.)

3. Happiness. I’ve definitely had a great life. I would say a fantastic life. I’ve been given lots of opportunities, and my family is very close. That said, I’ve definitely had a battle with happiness. Over the past year, I’ve come to terms with an event that occurred thirteen years ago. It was traumatizing, and it was a huge struggle to overcome it. That’s why I’m going to write a series of essays or a book or an article or SOMETHING to celebrate my “getting over” this event. I’m really proud of myself, but I would love to share my experiences so people in similar situations realize that they always have somewhere to turn. I don’t know how/where I’ll publish it, if I even do, I just think that happiness is so undervalued and yet so necessary. And I want people to be able to overcome whatever is holding them back… Can you tell that this is still a very nebulous idea in my head?

4. Knitting. What’s knitting? Oh yeah, that thing that this blog is supposed to be about… Right…

5. My sister. I’ve mentioned offhandedly a few times how my little sister is severely disabled. She had surgery in April to repair hip dysplasia (dogs get it often… it’s similar to dislocation but I’m a little fuzzy on the exact details). Since she has limited walking ability in the first place, we were concerned that she would never be able to walk again. Yesterday, with the help of her walker, she made it the entire length of my house! It made me smile so much, I thought I would share.

I don’t live here (just erase the mountain and then its about accurate), but the weather is the same where I’m from. Get outside people, the sunshine will make you smile.

6. In light of #1, there are so many things I want to accomplish this month! I’m going to make a goal list for the summer, right now. But I want to try making someone smile each day. I want to write at least 50 words every single day. I want to train for my half marathon. It’s all too much. Time for some prioritizing.

Peace & love.

Check your list

Since I can’t seem to gather my thoughts enough to make one cohesive post, here is a list.

1. I had 14 people look at the blog today. That’s a lot. My own personal record before that was 6 views in one day. So thank you, dear readers, and keep reading!

2. The weather, which was beautiful for the past few weeks, has suddenly turned cold. While this is very conducive to knitting, it is also conducive to sleeping. I’m a teenager, so getting out of bed is hard sometimes all the time. Even if I have something I really want to do, like squeeze in some knitting time before work.

3. Have too many SIPs on the needles… must finish at least one sock.

4. Is it possible to get Second Sock Syndrome while you are still working on the first sock? I think I should call it After Heel-itis. It happens all the time; I turn the heel, make the gussets, and boom. I’m bored. Sampler Texture Socks, that means you. Its even an interesting stitch pattern and I’m bored out of my tree.

5. I knitted so much last night that my boyfriend even commented on how much longer the other socks were getting. I’m almost at the heel flap on those ones.

6. “Those Ones” still don’t have a proper name.

7. I have a horse show this weekend. Its supposed to be rainy and cold. I think the knitting had better come along for the ride this time.

8. A picture! Or two, of the intrepid stripy socks! I’ve never used a true self-striping yarn before (though I have used many variegated and self patterning ones), and boy is it ever addicting. 

Look how big it is! The sock, not the picture silly. I need to use a real camera sometime, instead of my phone.

Here it is again, looking out the (very dirty) window:

I love it. At first I didn’t think that the orange beside that pinky colour would look too good, but it does. I’m normally not to partial to orange either, but I do like it this time.

9. Thing the last: “Smile, you’re a loved and valued person” (I don’t know who said that, but I love it)