Sunday, July 29, 2007

Get more sangria

Well I finally received my invitation to join Ravelry on Friday.It took just about 2 months and it was worth the wait. I've been exploring it a bit and trying to figure out all the features.It seem that it will be a useful tool to record projects , WIPs, browse for info on patterns and yarns . It's great to have so much info in one place.The only downside I can see is that it could take away from knitting time , at least in the beginning as I start to record projects and upload my photos. It's made me painfully aware of how few photos I've taken of finished knits. I seem to give away a lot of my knitting as gifts and forget to take photos. This is probably due to not having a blog till just recently . I have kept a knitting journal of sorts with notes on yarns etc , as well as who the recipients were of any given project . Ravelry is basically a high tech way of doing that with the added ability to share and communicate with other knitters .

I've been in a bit of a funk lately and can't seem to focus on anything. It seems that my get-up-and go got -up-and-went ! It's been hot and humid here this week and I don't deal well with it . It just saps all my energy . Mike has gone fishing up to James Bay (way , way the heck up in northern Quebec) which is so not my cup of tea. Too many black flies , bears and a diet of mostly fish , plus no yarn shops. With all this spare time on my hands ( no meals to prepare , less laundry) I decided that this might be a good time to paint the fence surrounding our backyard . Then comes the heat, seeing as it's July it shouldn't be a surprise , which is making me so cranky and out of sorts. So long story short , no knitting progress, half-painted fence and one very tired and cranky woman . Note to self - Get more sangria and find some shade !

Monday, July 23, 2007

What I did on my summer mini-vacation

It's been quite awhile since I posted . I've been back from Quebec City for a few days and am having some trouble settling back into the routine . I really enjoyed our visit to Quebec , despite the terrible weather . Brenda and Sydney were wonderful hosts who made me feel very welcome, even though I'm not related . They live just a little north of Quebec City proper , but it's just a short 30 minute drive to get into the city . Their house is situated on a hillside and they have a beautiful view if the valleys and mountains across from them . Their heritage is Irish and Scottish and both of their families settled in the region after the Irish famine , so there's a long history there. It was great fun to hear their family stories and meet some of their friends as well .

We had one nice day which we spent exploring the city . The annual summer festival was on so there were loads of tourists in the streets of the old town and parliament hill . Earlier in the day we visited two of Brenda's neighbours . The " girls " as Brenda calls them , never married and loved the area so much they decided to buy some land from Sydney's family . There 's an beautiful old farmhouse ,a barn and the most amazing vegetable and flower gardens. One of the sisters is the animal lover and keeps a horse ,a donkey as well as some hens in the summer . The other sister is the gardener . I enjoyed their hospitality very much and look forward to meeting them again .

Wednesday, July 11, 2007

Off to Quebec City

Yesterday evening was just one of those simply gorgeous summer evenings . The was a slight breeze, just enough to lessen the heat and humidity and keep those nasty mosquitoes at bay . I was able to sit and knit on my Japanese feather stole and have completed the third repeat . I'm really loving this pattern , especially the curvy "ditches" in between the lace feathers . For some reason I find them really appealing along with how the pattern itself makes that wavy edge. I have other knits in progress but my hands are continually reaching for this project .

Yesterday was a busy day as I'm preparing for mini-vacation with a girlfriend . We're heading up to Quebec City tomorrow for a few days . She has family there and it's been awhile since she'd been up to see them. I'm sort of tagging along and acting as chauffeur . Quebec , especially the "old town " is so beautiful . It's so filled with history, interesting museums , great restaurants and lots of little boutiques to explore. I'm hoping the weather co-operates and that it won't be too hot and humid or rainy . It'll be a nice break from the routine , no matter the weather . I hoping to discover some yarn shops and come home with a souvenir or two . I'll be back next week , with more pics and knitting updates , because of course the knitting is coming along on the trip .

Monday, July 9, 2007

A wonderful weekend !

Saturday evening Casey and Chantal hosted their first dinner party in their new home. They invited all of us to a BBQ . Casey got his initiation in BBQ grilling . He did a great job with a little help from the dads looking over his shoulders, no pressure there . Chantal outdid herself and provided us with tasty appetizers and delicious main course side dishes. Her dessert however was the piece de resistance. . It was little dark chocolate cups filled with a very light mousse and topped with seasonal fruit and berries soaked in Grand Marnier. We all left with very full tummies . We were so lucky with the weather as just after we'd eaten the heavens opened up and it poured rain.

The rain finally ended late Sunday morning . Mike and I decided to take a little day trip to the nature preserve at Mont St.-Hilaire which is a mountainous little blip in the St. Lawrence river valley . It looks odd in the landscape because all around is flat farmland and good sized towns and villages . When you hike the trails you feel far away from civilization , but really you're only a hop , skip and a jump away from a major city .

This pic is of Lac Hertel which is about halfway up the hill . The second pic is a bit further up and the last one is at a lookout pretty much near the summit . You can see the towns of Otterburn Park and Mont St.-Hilaire just below . It brought back memories of our boys kayaking days . They both kayaked competitively and we spent many a weekend at regattas around Quebec . Both boys paddled numerous times in the Richelieu river which you can see in the last photo. Those were great times!
I've started another sock . You're looking at the Monkey socks by Cookie A . I'm jumping on the bandwagon with these . They're my first knit for the Summer of Socks KAL . I'm late starting , but hey ,who's keeping track . My shawl is progressing well too , I've done two and ahalf repeats so far . I'm enjoying knitting it tremendously . I still haven't cast on for MS3 , too much choice in the stash and can't decide on a colour .

Friday, July 6, 2007

Finally a pair of socks

Ta Da ! The Sockapalooza socks are finished. After much deliberation about choice of pattern and yarn , and more than a few false starts, I finally have a completed pair of socks . I'm happy with the pattern (Math Whiz socks from . The yarn I used was Opal Neon and 2mm DPNs . I changed the heel (originally short row heel ) to a heel flap , but otherwise the socks were knit as called for in the pattern.

Already on my needles is the Japanese Feather Stole , by the same designer . I was looking for a fairly open , lacy stole to wear with my dress for Casey's wedding . As it's a beach wedding I didn't want anything too fussy or stylized .I that think this one fits the bill perfectly. I've done the first of 10 pattern repeats . So far , so good . I can't believe that I've signed up for the MS3 KAL .I joined awhile back when it was first mentioned , but haven't knit any of the clues yet .I'm not one of the speedy knitters who manages to knit up each clue just after it's posted .The previous mystery stoles were spectacular and can't wait to see what Melanie is giving us this time . I'm thinking this will be my summer of socks and stoles . I've got it covered from top to bottom , so to speak .

Monday, July 2, 2007

Stick a fork in me - we're done !

We're done ! As of today Casey and Chantal are home owners (well at least mortgage owners) . We're doing small finishing details and clean-up , but today is officially the last day at the house. Seven and half weeks from start to finish , after the lunch break , that's it that's all ! I'll post some pics later , right now the camera battery is re-charging . I could use a little re-charging myself ; plug me in to the closest lawn chair , please ,with a nice glass of sangria and re-charging will commence .

Understandably it's been very quiet on the knitting front . I did work on the sock pal socks , which were also supposed to be my June socks for the SAM3KAL . I'm at the gusset decreases on the foot , so almost done. I'm happy with the socks and really hope that my pal is too . I've never been so anxious about knitting for some one else before . I guess it's that this person is a complete unknown and a knitter , which for some reason added pressure . Anyway they're just about done and ready to go . Bring on the Monkeys !