I used to think when I was working that it would be so nice to have the time to write proper blog posts. The plan upon retirement was to post more regularly, more detail, better writing, more interesting.
Little did I know that I would be so busy with the actual doing of life that slowing down and stopping to write about it would be the problem.
I've been curling. And curling, and curling, and curling. We have another bonspiel under our belt and came home with prizes from the third event. We also came home with sides aching from laughter, eyes drooping from lack of sleep, muscles sore from sweeping so much, and livers a little worse for wear!
I've been enjoying my afternoon walks with our furry friends. We've just recently had super cold weather, but for the most part, the afternoons have been perfect.
I've made my first homemade soap. I made salves last summer and fall and they were a hit at the markets and I've sold some online. I think the soaps will sell well, too. The most interesting part for me is that I'm using so many of the same things that I use for dyeing yarn. The same plants and herbs, the same colorants, a similar patient process.
And, lastly, the thing that's been gobbling up hours and hours is a new-to-me knitting machine. It's a Brother 970 and it's a steep learning curve. I have an LK-150 and it's child's play compared to this electronic machine!
A local lady purchased this years ago and was in contact with me when she purchased it. She passed away from cancer about two years ago and her family had an auction sale. Very similar to our own tale when my father passed away. I was lucky enough to win the bidding on the machine and all its accessories. I knew I wouldn't have time to work with it while I was still teaching, so it has sat in a closet waiting for this winter.
I've mastered plain knitting and am currently struggling through working with the ribber. There's a garter carriage, an intarsia carriage, a color changer, and more. So much yet to learn!
Ravelry is an online site for knitters, crocheters, spinners, weavers, dyers. It is an online community with discussion forums and a database to keep track of yarn, patterns, and projects. I love Ravelry and am there every day. It's the best place to see other's completed knitting projects. With over 4 millions registered users, there is a tendency to think that every knitter is on Ravelry. Not so! The majority of my local customers are not on Ravelry and are not sharing their beautiful projects. But, I can!
My first project to share is socks. Actually many socks! Socks of varying sizes all knit with our Double Down yarn and based on my Classic Work Socks pattern. That's a lot of socks for my talented cousin to knit for her family!
My second project to share is a pair of gorgeous mittens. These are also knit with our Double Down yarn and my Curling Rocks Mittens pattern.
I am especially impressed with these because this knitter doesn't really knit. Much. She knows how to knit, but hasn't knit anything in years. But, she just had to have these for her daughter. They both curl and these were a very special gift. Amazing. I can't imagine undertaking these as a new project for a return to knitting, but it just proves that once you know the basic stitches of knitting, anything is possible.
The curling bonspiel season has begun with a list of local bonspiels ahead to attend. We won the third event at our first outing last weekend. Not too bad for a new team! The best part was how much fun we had. Our club is lined with signs that local businesses buy to advertise. The Dental Queen is my cousin (on the far left) so we just had to have our picture taken with her sign. More curling and fun planned for next weekend, too!
I'm finally getting my feet under me again after all the holiday festivities. There were many quick, small knits finished for gifts before Christmas and during the holiday season. Time to share.
Cowls. Easy and quick. Round and round and round. The pink is Bernat Ruffelina, the red and white is an old stash yarn - no label but some sort of chenille, and the brown is Paula Lishman's beaver yarn.
The beaver cowl is special. Very special yarn. It was originally knit into a hat for my father, but I frogged it - sadly and with tears, but it was time. It's now a very special cowl for me. So soft and so warm.
I am a fan of the Outlander books and television series and there has been much discussion online among knitters about the costumes. Claire's fur cowl was my inspiration and impetus for finally changing the hat into a cowl.
Wine glass cozies. Many, many wine glass cozies.
A quick and fun knit and a great conversation piece. The surprise is that they are actually very practical and usable. We had lots of practice using them over the holidays!! They are knit with Rowan Pure Wool DK and finished with a variety of vintage buttons from my enormous button collection.