Sunday, August 24, 2014

Mountains

Her second mountain hike!  
This is Ulriken, one of the seven mountains that surround Bergen, and the highest.  It is closest to where we live, and 2110 feet high.  Papa climbs up the steep path every few weeks with his friends, and takes about 60 minutes to get to the top.  Here's J's first ascent with Papa, using 90 minutes, only 5 years old.  No problem!  It wasn't clear to me if they used the steep path, or the not so steep path, but they rode the aerial tram down.
Knitwear in August!  Grandma's contribution. 

Friday, August 22, 2014

Packing for Camp

Disclaimer:  This report is from early August.

Returning from Norway with a suitcase full of yarn, however, my next adventure before going home is in the woods of Maine, with 4 other knitters.  We are making our own retreat by spending 6 days in a cabin, with outings to area yarn shops and lobster shacks.
Pre-camp we drove through Massachusetts, and (lucky us) we found WEBS just off the route.  The "mecca" of all yarn shopping sucked us in.  Eyes glaze over, and ... WEBS, I can resist your temptations online, but put me in the shop, and the tactile takes over.  
Thinking I had succumbed to the devil in the form of wool, I had no idea that the following day Freeport, the mecca of outlet stores had THREE wonderful tempting yarn shops.  No seconds... And below you see the damage done.  (Click on the photo for a close up.)


We went to LL Bean where I found it easy to resist purchasing ANYTHING!  
Above you see purchases starting next to the WEBS bag:  Zen Yarn Garden Serenity Silk+, Rowan Natural Silk Aran (pink) with the pattern book below it, and Madeline Tosh merino light (red).  Only the Rowan has a pattern idea with it.  The others were pure sensory purchases.  Then there's the BABag on the left which was an essential purchase to get everything home (think carry-on), and the wonderful little project/goodie bag that K made for each of us.
Most of this didn't make it to camp but waited patiently in Portland for my return.  We were "traveling light"... which was a good thing since we were 5 knitters in one vehicle, and miles of shopping to go!!
Yarn shops in Freeport:  Grace Robinson and Company, Mother of Purl, and Casco Bay Fiber Company.

Sunday, August 17, 2014

Yarn on the Plane

Second sock syndrome... Knitting without thinking!  I turned the heel and began knitting the insole when after a dozen or so rows I realized I was using the WRONG CHART!  THIS is what makes an 8 hour flight zip by.  I unraveled only the insole and left the heel decreases.  It worked (this time).

Catching up with the summer.  Where did the last month go?
Here are the same socks--finished!!
Sorry, kind of a crappy picture, of yummy brown tweed.  Lots of bits of black and beige, somehow looking not so black and beige.  The pattern is Cookie a's Twisted Flower, and these are my FIRST socks using Stroll Sock yarn.  "I love it!!!"  First of many, I hope.  Thanks, Marguerite for the tip off.

Saturday, August 16, 2014

Fifth Birthday!

Doll cakes are a tradition... My grandmother was a master cake maker, and baker. (She had weekly standing orders for dozens of rolls:  Not uncommon to see her kitchen filled with 20-40 dozen rolls rising. But I digress...)  As the only grandchild for 18 years, my early birthday cakes were often barbie knock-off dolls planted in richly decorated cakes.  Back then, she shaped the cakes, and bought real dolls.  That was the '50's, and even when my daughter had her early birthdays, grandma was the go-to source in the '80's.
My daughter couldn't wait to try her hand... and with the help of correctly shaped pan, and all sizes of top-only dolls, she created a beauty!
It was really impressive.  I wish I could have caught the look my granddaughter had on her face when she first saw it.  It's one thing to see it in progress:

 But pretty impressive when finished.

There were two parties, and at the first one, no one dared to ask for cake!  Funny... it was just a curiosity.  The second party was only 4 and 5 year olds, and there was much speculation as to what the rest of the doll looked like, and "is it really cake" was thoroughly discussed.
They couldn't wait to cut into it, which was a good thing.  I'd hate to throw it all away!
The chocolate cupcakes were a huge hit and disappeared without discussion.
It was all "princesses and pink"!
 And the boys loved it!
 And the girls got to kiss the frog.  Lipstick is always a winner!



Friday, July 18, 2014

On Hold.

And then there was an unexpected project.
I can't stand to see (some) things unfinished.  Especially beautiful projects that have languished for years in upstairs spare bedrooms, with no hope of ever attaining FO status.
I'm guessing it has been at least 8 years since my daughter took over our house on a visit by creating, planning, and piecing this quilt.
Until I unfolded it this morning, I had no idea how HUGE it is.  What was she thinking?  This is stretched out on a California King-size bed.  It's turned so it is wider than long. And gorgeous, no?
As with many a quilt, I'm sure, the quilting got in the way.  It's so much fun to play with the colours and put it together, and so... time consuming, and heavy, and repetitious, to quilt it.  She has learned her lesson though.  She quilted most of the centre (not the outer two rows of inner blocks) and then put it away, and then folded it nicely on a single bed in her mother-in-law's upstairs spare room.  And she hasn't "quilted" a piece since.  She has made several smaller quilts, and sent them to be quilted by the local quilt shop.  And they are beautiful.
Unfortunately for me, obsessive-me, I slept in that bed last weekend.  Only it was 80 degrees in that room, I had to move it, and I discovered it needed binding.
Having 2-1/2 weeks left here, I thought... yeah, I can do that!  But this morning, I see how much work it's going to be.  When you count the borders, I bet it is half quilted.  I spent hours this morning replacing basting that had fallen out.  It will NOT cross the ocean, so if it gets closer to finished, that's what it will be.
 If I should get to the first border, it will be machine quilted from there.  In fact, I had grandiose plans to use the machine for the triangles, but the size of it, and the turning on those little pieces... to match what's there already, make it impossible.  I guess I'll be staying warm!
A 36 cm hoop.


Wednesday, July 16, 2014

Knitting...fuzz and miles

I manage to put my feet up now and then, and I finished a fuzzy little cardigan, which I would call a bolero, except... mohair-bolero?  It's a beauty, and just right for a late summer evening, or air conditioning!
A delicate "Swiss dot" pattern.
Pattern:  Audrey's Cardigan by Andrea Pomerantz from Interweave Knits, Spring 2010

Yarn:  Superior by Filatura Di Crosa Lace / 2 ply
70% Cashmere, 25% Silk, 5% Merino 330 yards / 25 grams
Meanwhile, I have been attracted to a pattern called Yggdrasil, for a blanket.  And finally I bought the yarn.  YAY for July, 35% off DROPS cotton yarns... and my, 1.2 kilos of cotton yarn, oh my!  Daunting, I haven't started yet.  It's a start-in-the-middle square pattern.  All one colour... I can imagine how long this is going to take. And the grumbling in the future.
There are 44 balls of 50 grams.
Pattern:  Yggdrasil Afghan by Lisa Jacobs from Knitting Daily Free Patterns

Dear USA friends, no, I'm not trying to be cute with my British English spelling.  The keyboard I'm borrowing is set up that way and auto-corrects me, and instead of trying to change it, and get in trouble, my Canadian fans will have to translate for you!  LOL 

Monday, July 14, 2014

And Then I got BUSY!

My first week of full-time daycare was last week.  Let's say it starts around 7 when I am greeted by a cheery little girl who wants grandma to play a game.  And it ends around supper time.  There's lots to do, and we will probably do repeats this week because some are so popular.
One day we were at the aquarium:
Penguins, sea lions, and crocodiles are fascinating.  And I was asked so many questions... like about the huge tiger python curled up with its skin.  She wants to know everything. And that's OK!
Other days were playground, and science museum, and crafts.
The scooter is the new thing! and who wouldn't want Hello, Kitty knee, elbow and wrist pads?
On the fifth day of the week we went to see the other grandparents, a bus and a ferry and a bus, and a taxi away... 4 hours.  And the weather couldn't be nicer!  Life on the coast...
Ferry crossing: The bus drives on and we get off.  It's a 40 minute ride.

And at the grandparents':
And the amazing sunsets... 10:15 pm.
Knitting projects, too, to follow.




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