How I Felt..and This is My Thing

The end of October already? How did that happen? It was summer and then it snowed. Seriously, we had two inches of snow three days ago. I’m excited about my new helmet and goggles, but I’m not ready to snap on my skis yet! Then it got warm and the snow melted away.img_20161030_145237310 And now it’s colder again. The thermometer is bipolar. I have so many little projects going right now that it’s hard to worry about the weather, though.

This dress is just off of my sewing machine. I knitted the 50% Alpaca/50% Acrylic on my standard gauge knitting machine a while ago. Now, with cooler weather I decided I had to finish it right now. So I did. Now where will I wear it?

It’s quite plain, but I wanted it that way so I had an excuse to wear scarves or jewelry with it easily. Scarves, I have a few made up. Apparently, my mirror needs a good dusting.

Now that my mid-gauge machine is free, I need to make a black sweater set. Right now. I already have the patterns out. The camisole is quick. So I’ll make another, this time without all the mistakes. img_20161030_182343006

On my LK100, I’ve been making thick warm super-scarves. I had bought some vivid red by the pound at a mill outlet. The yarn was a mess and I spent more time detangling and splicing broken ends than I did knitting. Another for my daughter is almost complete,missing only one end of fringes.

And now, a manly man scarf is in production. But it hasn’t been all knitting. Pillows,slippers,  t-shirts, cards. And 11 liters of apple cider is blipping away in its carboy. We picked and juiced the apples, and are waiting impatiently for the best part. Cabbages are waiting to be made into saurkraut.

And, wonder how I felt? Here’s how. IMG_20161025_164111643.jpg

Alpaca fiber is being turned into felt, that will be made into slippers. Looks a bit like roadkill at this point. I can’t let the dog near it. MUTE_20160919_211502-ANIMATION.gif

This thing actually kinda works.

This is my thing. Or these are my things? I’ll ask the question again, as asked of me (in a roundabout way). What is your thing?

 

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A Bit ‘bent

What’s that funny looking conveyance that man is sitting on in the photo on my Instagram feed? That is a recumbent tricycle. My husband has Parkinson’s Disease. It affects his balance and endurance. Riding a bicycle was getting a bit risky. He’d taken a few spills. So, we decided he needed something  more stable. Those big trikes aren’t cool. But recumbents definitely are, even for people without mobility problems.

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This is a one person trike, although they can be made for two. It’s geared like a bicycle, and this one has the advantage of a small battery-powered motor that can either assist in pedaling, or propel the rider along without effort. With the motor alone, it can go up to 40kmh. Because my husband tires easily, he can use it to assist getting up hills, or when his legs just can’t pedal anymore. The recumbent position allows you to pedal with greater efficiency, and it is so much more comfortable than a regular bicycle. Having ridden this one, I don’t know why anyone would want to sit hunched over on a bicycle enduring sore bottom, wrists, shoulders, and neck. There are recumbent bicycles too, which I’d love to try.

This link takes you to a video of Thomas sharing the road with the snowmobile trail groomer back in January when he first got the trike. You don’t want to travel icy roads like these on two wheels!

 

Suddenly It’s Summer

From dreary, endless winter to high summer within a week! Suddenly I’m unpacking summer clothes and stashing the warm winter clothes. Around here though, there’s a good chance I’ll be pulling a few warm sweaters out.

We’ve spent a little time getting the backyard ready too. The gazebo screens are on so we’re ready to dodge the mosquitoes. And I’ve done a tiny bit of gardening–plopping a few petunias, herbs and morning glories in the small patch of sunny garden and a few planters I grow flowers in. We started geraniums early in the spring, and they’ve been put out now too. All my houseplants live outdoors in the summer, with some care to harden them off to the sun and wind.

Vegetable gardening is almost impossible in our yard. We have an area where a pool used to sit that we’ve been filling in with leaves, Here we can grow potatoes, and zucchini and cucumbers seem to be able to survive around the edges. Tomatoes are a loss, as they succumb to blight no matter what we do. The season is too short for nice peppers, and the only thing that grows reasonably well in the shade are leafy greens.

We absolutely ache for a backyard we can have a real garden in! To that end, and because a multi-level house with three sets of stairs and one partial set is not suitable for someone with Parkinson’s Disease we are slowly getting our house ready to sell. We plan to buy before we sell and get exactly what we want.

But first, there’s a wedding! I’ve been making a few things, my own dress included. It’s almost finished. I used the Butterick B5710. I’ll write a short post about my ‘adventures’ with this pattern in case anyone else still wants to sew with it. It’s an easy pattern–but setting that zipper–if you look closely, even the picture on the website shows a big bulge in it! There’s an easy fix though and a way to save some struggle.

With the dress somewhat out of the way (hand sewing the hems–yuck), my next task is photo-booth props. And that knit dress–the front and back are knitted and I’m sitting down to the sleeves. I’ve wanted this dress for ages, bought the knitting machine a year ago, and am finally getting it done. I’ve learned so much in the year, and there is an incredible amount still to learn, but I’m starting to make wearable garments, rather than sample swatches. Sewing on its own seems so much simpler now that I’m learning to make fabric from scratch! Buying a few yards off the bolt almost feels like cheating!

 

The "Pippa" dress--now a mother-of-the-bride dress.
The “Pippa” dress–now a mother-of-the-bride dress.

Another Project

I spent a good part of the day at the Creativ Festival in Mississauga and came home with two balls of yarn and a pattern for a summer shawl . Since I don’t know how to hand knit I’m working it up on my bulky gauge knitting machine. It’s already half done and I’m quite satisfied with the results so far . The yarn is called Nako Venus Heaven.

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Sourdough SCOBY?

I’ve been making sourdough on and off for years.  This batch was parked beside the kombucha tea urn.  Is that why it formed a kombucha tea-like SCOBY,  or biofilm? This is the first time I’ve seen this happen.  Beneath the layer all was well,  the sourdough smelling nice and spicy.  I took the layer off and fed the sponge.  It’s bubbling away as good sourdough starter should.

After The Ice Storm

After what seemed like days of weather watches and special statements it was hard to take the forecasts seriously.  But Thursday the expected freezing rain did begin and by early evening if was obvious there would be a mess by morning.  The power went out as most people were preparing dinner.  We enjoyed a  candle light dinner of take out pizza and the lights came on just before bedtime

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Thursday evening as it’s still raining.

We fell asleep listening to branches crashing down and I debated whether the vehicles were safer parked on the road or in the driveway under the trees. The only major branch we lost fell over the fence within inches of the neighbour’s camper trailer. So there is lots of cleaning of small branches.

Friday morning.
Friday morning.

The power went out again at dinner time which meant serving rather undercooked and frosty veggies for Easter family dinner,  but everything else was done.  The lights came on as we finished dessert.

Saturday morning.
Saturday morning.

Saturday morning dawned sunny with the ice still on the trees.  It was dazzling.  But,  we are still hearing chainsaws as everyone tries to clean up. Some folks are still without power.  I’ve posted more photos on my Google albums.

https://goo.gl/photos/THttXzpSeF8eCvwLA

Passing the Winter Days

My project this winter has been to learn to use a knitting machine.  I now have two,  a mid-gauge suitable for knitting fine yarns and a medium gauge for heavier yarns. I’ve so far made some simple projects such as cut and sew sweaters,  some charity hats,  a braided scarf and other wearables.
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Now I’m working on a sweater so that I can experiment with patterns and sizes to finally make myself the sweater dress I would like. I was lucky enough to find 4 cones of alpaca acrylic blend in a very fine yarn. I have two in a natural color and two in black. Judging from the amount that I’ve used so far to create my first sweater there will be plenty left over to make things like socks and who knows what else. Learning to use these machines means that I’ve relied on lot on YouTube videos. There are so many helpful people that have put instructional videos online. Two that I’ve relied on a lot are Roberta Rose Kelly and Dianne Sullivan.

It is very satisfying to make something that can’t be deleted with the press of a key.

January 2016 100k Walkies

Although I did not set out with the goal of walking 100km this month, it looks like my habit of walking 3.2km or 2 miles a day will get me there anyway. Unusually mild, dry weather means I’ve been out walking far more than I would expect this time of year. This is how my walking log looks right now:

 

Date Activity Calories Burned (kCal) Distance (km)  Time (seconds) Avg Pace (min/km) Avg Speed (km/h) Steps
Jan. 11, 2016 Walk 230 3.272 2217 11.29093 5.31398 4457
Jan. 10, 2016 Walk 226 3.226 2097 10.8318 5.53923 4394
Jan. 9, 2016 Walk 226 3.237 2069 10.6526 5.63239 4408
Jan. 8, 2016 Walk 393 5.629 3631 10.7500 5.58133 7666
Jan. 7, 2016 Walk 225 3.204 2159 11.2287 5.34342 2160
Jan. 6, 2016 Walk 240 3.429 2256 10.9629 5.47299 4671
Jan. 5, 2016 Walk 283 2.646 720 4.53430 13.2324 2785
Jan. 3, 2016 Walk 99 1.406 945 11.1953 5.35937 1916
Jan. 2, 2016 Walk 355 4.944 3085 10.3989 5.76982 6733
Jan. 1, 2016 Walk 203 2.762 1691 10.2037 5.88017 3761

To log my activities I use the mapmyrun app, actually mapmydogwalk and my Garmin Vivofit. So, I’ve achieved just over 33% of my goal in 11 days. I know that two miles a day is not that far to walk, but that’s where I am.