Wednesday, 10 September 2014

I think it's official

I'm done here. Life has gotten very busy, and I just find the Instagram thing easier - a quick picture of what I'm knitting with my phone, a few words to describe it, and done. I miss the people I've "met" and actually met, through this blog - Brenda, Denise, Saren and Marie in particular, but I just can't do the blog justice any more.
Seriously, if Susan can find me on Instagram, anyone can!
come say hello!

Tuesday, 8 July 2014

Am I still a blogger?

I don't post very much any more. I'm still knitting, still sewing, still creating, but I just don't seem to have the posting mojo. I post quite a bit on Instagram and Facebook (instagam ID - sjrichardson10), but I just can't seem to bring myself to get over here. load photos and talk about them.

I'm hoping its just the summer blahs, and I'll be back soon, but don't be surprised if posts are few and far between here.

It's not you, it's me...

Monday, 23 June 2014

Basic everyday

A basic, everyday sweater.  My favourite kind. Something I can wear often, and just have available to throw on anytime.
The picture above comes close to the colour - the yarn is a lovely kettle dyed dark forest-y green.
This one shows the mostly finished sweater. (And the start of another one...) the variations in the yarn don't appear quite as brilliantly as they seem to be in pictures.  I still need to sew in the ends, add the buttons, and give it a wash and blocking. And add pockets - pretty sure I want to add pockets.
Right now, it's been tossed into my bag to take to the cottage - the boy and I are planning on heading up Wednesday afternoon,as soon as he gets back from the exam review. He's now done with school - has a trip to Wonderland planned for tomorrow, then we will head north for at least a week, since we've got the Canada day holiday coming next Tuesday. My husband will come up for the weekend. Ihave plans  of getting the garden in shape up there,  as well as a few other chores involved with the first few weekends, since I have the time to be there.
Of course there are also knitting plans - finishing this green sweater and starting this maple red one (adding in this lovely variegated stuff - both these yarns have been reclaimed from a sweater I knit and rarely wore. I love the yarns and I wanted to wear them.  Plus some other projects - as usual, I've overpacked my knitting for time at the cottage,  it you never know - this May be the time I get it all done!

Friday, 20 June 2014


I've had this navy laceweight, beaded cardigan on the go for a while. It's my own design, top down, using the contiguous sleeve construction. I love it, and was loving how I was adding the beads in a graduated look from the waist down - lightly at first, then more heavily as I get closer to the hem - I figured the laceweight wool would benefit from the weight of the beads.

But I've put it down for an extended period. Just sort of lost interest in it, to be honest.
But I picked it up again recently, and while looking at it from all angles, saw something that stopped me cold...
a hole. A giant, freaking, yarn ripped apart HOLE! Right in the middle of the back. 
Of course, I did what any sane knitter would do - I caught both open ends with stitch holders, then tossed it back in the bag until I could take it to knit night and get opinions...
After a number of gasps when I showed it, I did get opinions. he general consensus is that I should be able to just knot the ends and be done with it. I know if I rip it back, I will NEVER knit it again. NEVER. So I think the knot idea is the way to go, along with weaving a safety bit over it.
We'll see. Right now, I'm annoyed at it, so it's still stuffed in it's bag. I may get back to it eventually...

Wednesday, 18 June 2014

Spa cloth birthday gifts

** edited to fix link - thanks to commenter Else for the heads up!!**

I've mentioned many times how great our cottage neighbours are, and how much I love to knit for them, as well as how much they appreciate it.
The girl are turning 17 and 15 this year, and we always celebrate this coming long weekend (July 1).
I had some 100% linen and some 50% cotton / 50% linen to make the cloths, and before I wrapped everything up I washed and dried the cloths - a great idea - it softened the linen and bloomed the blends so much - the cloths are just what I wanted them to be.

Then I went on the hunt for soaps - and completely lucked out! I found a place right here in Aurora that makes artisan soaps! not only has a booth at our town Farmers Market on Saturdays, she has a small retail outlet - I'm a fan! I picked up a bunch of soaps for the girls, and a ton more for me. Love them! She even makes a soap for dogs with citronella and eucalyptus which is great for summer, so I picked up a few of those bars for my dog owner friends.

Of course, some personalized cards, and voila! two great handmade, locally sourced gifts for two great girls that appreciate the local stuff.

One thing... as nice as these cloths are, and how much fun I had putting the gifts together - after six of them, I'm done! I may make more of them down the line, but right now, I don't really want to see another linen cloth...

Sunday, 15 June 2014

Where to start...

I take a little time of from the blog, and it becomes difficult to get back to it! I don't quite know where to start...
I've been knitting quite a bit, as well as sewing, and taking some time to do some stuff around the house. I could get used to this not working thing, but to be honest, there's only so much I can take. I need to get back to something. But this time around, I'm waiting for the right thing. I've actually turned down a couple of options (one was just so perfect, except for the distance...), but I know my priorities, and I have to meet them for it all to work. So I keep looking...
So what;s been going on? Quite a bit, actually. A lot I can't really share, as they are not my stories, but there has been some great things happening in the family (some not-so-great things as well, but we try not to dwell on those.) My niece is doing great things, interning at the PGA of America at TPC Sawgrass in Florida before she starts her senior year at Brown, and my nephews are excelling at their chosen activities. 
My son has also been doing some great things - he qualified for OFSAA (the Ontario high school championships) in discus - a discipline he has been throwing for all of a month! We were lucky that the championships were held in Mississauga - pretty close to us, so we were there in force, cheering him on to a top 20 finish. So very proud of him, and his coach was thrilled. We are looking at some private coaching for the future - he really enjoys discus and shot put, as well as middle distance running. He was also recognized at the school athletic banquet as a 4-team member (cross country, basketball, indoor track and outdoor track). Plus, he was made a peer mentor for next year's new crop of grade nines. All this while staying on the Honour Roll, heading into exam week. Just a little Mom gloating here...

I've got the gardens around here in shape, ready to be ignored for the summer while we get to the cottage as much as possible!
It always looks great early in the summer, so I try to take advantage as much as possible.
My baskets and boxes are all in bright primary colours:

My Siberian iris are always gorgeous:

And the bleeding heart I took as a cutting from my Mom's house is getting so large!

There's so much more, but I just haven't got the camera on anything. 

Even my knitting has been boring - a sweater - basic, cardigan, no frills, no colour work, just a good, useful kettle dyed worsted wool cardigan in my favourite colour green.

There's more to it since I took this picture, so I'll show that soon. I've also completed the spa cloth birthday gifts, and found the most amazing soaps to go with them! And socks - always socks on the go...

Monday, 2 June 2014


So... the new job didn't work out. I kind of knew it right after it started, and to be honest, I pretty much took it based on location, and not the job itself. (Note to self - such a bad reason to take a job!!)
While I do like a small company, I need more than one guy, who has no interest in my computer skills (or computers in general). He wanted no part of me bringing him into the 20th (we're not even talking the 21st!!) century as far as his systems were concerned. "It's been working fine for us, so we're not going to change it". I mean, this guy was still using the "my Documents" file to store the 3, count 'em THREE files he used... Handwriting and faxing - that's all he does... It's good for him, he's got a nice little business going, but there was maybe 2 hours worth of work I could do in an 8 hour day, and that was driving me crazy. Even when I took it upon myself to make up a spreadsheet to streamline some processes, he freaked, said no, and actually went in and deleted the file! That was enough for me.
So back on the job hunt, and to be honest, I'm okay if nothing happens until August. I've got enough going on to fill my days with family commitments, and some freelance stuff. That being said, if something comes up, I'm not an idiot...

But I will be smarter about looking at ALL the angles before accepting anything new...

So lots of knitting time, I guess!

Friday, 23 May 2014

Where my attention was drawn

So with all the small and large projects I have hanging around, and I"ve really only shown the ones that are getting any kind of action... when I said my attention was drawn elsewhere, I'm sure you thought something cool, and interesting grabbed me.
Well... no. Just a basic cardigan sweater. 
Good wool, top down construction, basic as it comes. I realized I was often drawn to my basics when I wanted a sweater, and realized I don't have as many as I want, so I grabbed this wonderful kettle dyed dark green wool and cast on. I may stripe in some colour, I may not. I'll see when I get there. I have some paler green, or some orange that may work. I may add a colour work panel to it. The nice thing about top down construction is I can decide when I get there.

Wednesday, 21 May 2014

larger things

I've picked up a couple of larger UFOs that haven't seen much love for a while. I worked on each of them for a bit until my attention was drawn elsewhere. However, I can see going back to both of these often through the summer, as they are both lightweight projects.

First off in the American Safari Hoodie - an old pattern I've made before. 
This time around I'm using a flax - silk - poly blend that I got at the Frolic many years ago I'm making it with long sleeves, becasue I don't like short sleeved sweaters on me, and will probably make it tunic length, since it will be somewhat sheer.
I'm debating a wide stripe of this greenish blue silk - I'll make that decision when I get to the area that I may stripe it.

I've just finished the hood part - it's knit top down, so I'm still going back and forth for a few more inches before I join in the round.

I'm also making progress on my Noro Viajante overtop. THis would be nice to have for the summer - something easy to toss on in the evenings if there's a chill. 

Maybe for next year...

Tuesday, 20 May 2014

Small things

I've got a couple of small projects with sort of deadlines, that I work on in fits and starts when I feel like it.


Not for my family - they all have their name ornaments, but our cottage neighbours loved theirs, and his brother's family through they were so cool as well. So the neighbour has commissioned me to make 6 more for his extended  family for Christmas. While I normally don't knit for money (I haven't worked for below minimum wage in decades, and I'm not about to start now), he's paying well enough to make it worthwhile. Friend or not, it's still work. Luckily, he's the one who approached me with a great price. I've got one done and five to go, but they're not due until December, so I have time.

Spa cloths:

These need to be done a little quicker. The aforementioned cottage neighbours - the 2 teen girls birthdays are late June and early July, and I'd like to have at least 2 cloths each plus some great soaps for them. (Still have to get some great handmade soap - must check out the farmers market one weekend).
I've got one and a half done - the beige is a cotton-linen blend and the silver is a 100% linen. So one of each for each girl should do it.

Friday, 16 May 2014

Heading out!

While we use our cottage all year, and I've actually been up there a fair bit this winter, considering our schedules, this weekend, Victoria Day in Canada (or fondly known as the May 2-4 weekend), is the real start of cottaging season.
We will have a full house - us, my inlaws and BIL and family. Plus, neighbours and friends and other lake dwellers will be around. This weekend is what really starts the season, and we welcome it with many a cocktail on assorted decks and docks, (weather permitting).
I'm bringing most of the socks I've shown - sock knitting is the only safe knitting for me when there are cocktails involved...

Next week will continue the parade of stuff I'm working on...

Wednesday, 14 May 2014

SIPs - socks in progress

It seems a lot of my WIPs are socks. I have a lock of sock sized needle sets, and sock yarn is easy to buy, so it's easy for me to cast on when I buy new sock yarn!
I did finish the Malabrigo socks I had going, which freed up another set of needles...

currently I have:

Green Tanis purple label cashmere blend socks. 
These were originally going to be for my FIL, but it turns out he doesn't really like the cashmere blends. I mean, he likes how they feel, but he doesn't like that they wear out quicker than other blends. I told him it doesn't matter, I'd just make him more, but no, he wants his socks to last forever. The fact that he doesn't really want these makes a couple of other guys I know quite happy - there is a bidding war going on for them!

Then there's the sport weight String Theory socks:

I love these, and will keep them, even though there is interest from other parties.

My sadly neglected Witches Britches socks.

I will probably knit these int he car on the way to the cottage next weekend - they won't take long to finish.

I do have another pair - the blue fluorescent Regia socks - they must still be in my purse - they're gorgeous!

Monday, 12 May 2014

Taking stock

I've got a lot of knitting going on. A lot. And I keep adding more. For a while this was bothering me, but then I realized, it's just knitting. I do it for enjoyment, so why was I letting it stress me out? If I want to cast on something new, who says I can't? (I'm getting better at letting go of the small things. Life's too short.)

This is the current pile:

And no, it doesn't include any bead knitting - that's an entire bag unto itself. (Actually, safer to say a bag and a rubbermaid box...) The beads haven't gone away - I just haven't finished anything new. I have actually bagged up the threads and beads into pleasing combinations, and can grab a small ziploc and go if needed. I've also (Nancy, hold on here...) ripped out the grey pearl with smoky charcoal tri-cut seed beads necklace. 
The length was wrong, it didn't sit quite right (this picture took too much arranging, and it moved as soon as I did). A quick rip, and I will reknit it so it works better. It will still be the same beads, but the look and drape will be improved.
I will detail all the WIPS in the next few posts...

Sunday, 4 May 2014

more bags

I'm a sucker for discounts. The Quilt Store had these packages of off cuts and remnants - a pile of fabrics for $2 or $3. I sifted through and found a couple I liked. Then, at home, I sifted through the piles of fabrics and matched up a few that worked together. Individually, there was not enough of the coffee fabric or the chicken fabric to do anything, but when I added the red chevron to the chickens or the dotted to the coffee, I ended up with some of the best bags I've made.

I love these. I'm keeping one of each and giving away the other two. The coffee one is going to a friend of mine who works for Starbucks, and the chicken is also slated for someone. 

Now I'm going to have to start matching up all my leftover fabrics - I love the two tone bags.

Thursday, 1 May 2014


I have been tinkering with a t-shirt pattern that I want to wear for a very long time. I've been close a few times, but there was always a problem with the sleeves, or the fit at the bust, or waist or length or something. I think my tinkering has finally paid off.
I've finally got a pattern I like, and that looks good. It's pretty much self drafted, and fits great around the bust, and hangs nicely from there (I don't want anything snug around my waist or hips - not an attractive sight right now...

I've used a royal blue knit I had hanging around, and like it so much I plan on a few more of these, some with shorter sleeves, and some like this one with 3/4 sleeves. There's two tiny tucks in the neckline - I may or may not draft those out on the next one - they don't detract from the fit, and they are a bit of interest in an otherwise plain top. One disclaimer - My bust is larger than my mannequin's, so if the front looks like it hangs funny at the hem in these pictures, it straightens out when I wear it!

Wednesday, 30 April 2014

Bolt is done!

I loved knitting this. 
I love the yarn, I love the colours, I love the garter stitch with enough short rows and colour changes to keep me interested. I'm still trying to figure out the best way to wear it...

At least I have the whole summer before I have to figure it out.
Pattern - Bolt by Veera Valimaki for Brooklyn Tweed
Yarn - Dye Hard Fibres in Alien Armpit and You're So Cheezy

Tuesday, 29 April 2014

One picture from Easter...

My favourite picture from a great weekend - my son trying to be an icebreaker in a kayak...

3 days after this, the ice was out of the lake. 
Considering there was only a plastic kayak between his butt and the lake, it's no wonder he was cold when he got in. 
This seems to be the new tradition - swimming seems to be out - none of the kids seemed all that eager to get in the lake, especially since neither the hot tub nor the sauna were ready to go... but a flotilla of vessels were out around the edges of the ice, checking it out.

Monday, 28 April 2014

New yarns!

Some from the Frolic, some not...

The DKC Knitter's Frolic was great, as always. The only problem I had was spending too much time beforehand digging through my stash! All that did (other than the huge messy pile of yarn I made) was to make me NOT want to buy new wool! What a stupid thing to do just before my favourite yarn marketplace...
But, I have also bought new yarns in the preceding couple of weeks. I had an idea for birthday gifts for a couple of favourite teenage girls - spa cloths. (To most of us, known as wash cloths or face cloths, it seems the new name for them is spa cloths...) So I hit Tove's Store, aka Needles and Knits, and picked up some wonderful cotton/linen blend (the worsted weight in beige and white), and some Punta Yarns Montoya Beach in 100% linen (the silver and cream). The gold is some Elann 100% hemp I've had sitting around for a while. 
I've used the Bee Stitch, popularized by Stephanie recently, and plan to make a few more, and pair them with some nice handmade soaps (note to self, scope out some nice hand made soaps...) THese girls both have summer birthdays, and for once, I can give them a knited gift that is appropriate to the time of year! Not that they've ever complained about the sweaters, hats and mittens, but it's a nice feeling to see something that doesn't make you sweat just looking at it...

And, the Wednesday before the Frolic, when I said I was not buying anythng at Knit Night, I bought these:

And may I say, I wasn't the only one who bought them, right Nancy, Rebecca, Julia and possibly, Deb? (I can't remember if Deb bought any...) I was disappointed when my previous neon socks didn't neon - I don't think I'll have a problem here. Actually, I know I won't, I've already started the blue ones. (Come on, no one who knows me is surprised by this...) They're gorgeous.

Now, I did buy some stuff at The Frolic, but nothing like previous years! Susan bought way more than I did! I bought 1 skein of Turtlepurl, in a deep crimson:
(for my FIL - it's muted enough that he will wear it, and interesting enough that I will knit it. I also bought a bottle of Eucalan (because I needed it, and one pattern. Seriously, that was it. I checked my temperature when I got home, I'm not running a fever or anything, I just didn't feel the shopping mojo. So strange for me... Other than the lack of buying, the Frolic was fun. I finally met Robyn, saw some great things and people and still made it back to Aurora in time to see most of the Boy's basketball game. And I'm glad I did, he played great! 

This is my transition week - I've got two more days with the old company, then next Monday I start my new job. I"m looking forward to it, but wish the old place would tell me whats going to happen going forward, I have no idea who to pass off my info and everything I do to. I really wonder about these guys...

Thursday, 24 April 2014

LIfe is getting mad...

Things are busy, busy, busy...

I've quit my current job to start with! It was time. As good as it was at the beginning (flex hours, the best boss ever...) things have gone downhill (bad business decisions, good people let go, horribly bad people brought in, my hours cut... I could go on...) so I made the tough decision to leave. My boss is aware of the issues, and while he doesn't want to see me go, he totally supports the move. (He doesn't think he will be staying much longer either.) The idiots that are remaining have proven through words why it's a good idea for me to move on. One sent a half congratulatory, half derisive note, while the other, bigger douche has said nothing at all. I leave in less than a week. Nice working with you too...
I am moving on to a new job situation - better pay, better people (with the exception of the best boss ever...) and get this - it's a 10 minute WALK from my house! While that will put a serious crimp in my "sock knitting while car pooling" I'm willing to give up other knitting time for socks in trade for a 10 minute walk over a 45 minute drive. And if I find I do need a car during the day, no problem - my husband's office is right next door! Things are good, or will be once I get through this last week - they are leaving everything until the very last minute to see who is going to handle everything I do...

On top of all that good news, it's also Knitter's Frolic weekend! Susan and I are meeting for breakfast, then heading off to handle a few things on her list. My list is almost non-existent - some great sock yarns, maybe a sweater's worth, and knowing me, probably some beads... Once we handle all that, Susan has to take off, and I'm meeting up with Robyn! Finally meeting in person! She's coming in from Montreal to scout out things for her new Yarn Shop. I'm looking forward to a great day - the only downside will be missing Brenda and Marie - both of whom are busy this weekend - next time, ladies!

Thursday, 17 April 2014

Happy Egg and Chocolate Day!

I know many people have many ways of celebrating this time of year, whether it be Passover, Easter, or just a Long Weekend. We tend to fall into the latter category. We are off to the cottage this afternoon - we have a fabulous cedar planked halibut dinner planned with friends on Friday, and a feast of ham on Saturday. In between we will send the kids off again on another wild and woolly treasure hunt for chocolate and candy goodies, fire up the new chainsaw to start clearing some felled trees, enjoy some cocktails and competitive Wizard card games with the neighbours, and for me, knitting!
Enjoy the weekend, and I'll see you on the other side!

Wednesday, 16 April 2014

I'm weak...

I said I wouldn't buy any more beads, that I would just knit the ones I already had. Yeah, that lasted about two weeks...

The worst part? This isn't all of them. There may be some turquoise coloured pearls, maybe some bronzy ones and potentially some white ones.

I'm weak, I admit it.

Monday, 14 April 2014

It was destined to be mine

We were at knit night the other night, at the Yarn Store, and Margaret, as is her habit, did more wandering and shopping than knitting. (I've been known to wander myself, and considering it's also a quilt store, it's a dangerous place for me to wander around). 
They had all the kits on for 50% off, so Margaret was on the hunt, not just for a pattern, but for the wool itself, considering the discount. She came back with a few options, but one was destined to be mine, not hers.

It was so perfect, I've already wound the yarn and started the project. The pattern is Bolt by Brooklyn Tweed, and the yarn is Dye Hard Fibre Arts in Alien Armpit (the green) and You're So Cheezy (the orange). I love the yarn names Deb uses!
(I just noticed my Kobo is sitting there - notice the book?The Amazing Thing about the Way it Goes by Stephanie Pearl McPhee - it finally became available on Kobo)
You may be wondering why this kit was destined for me. I guess I should show you the nail polish I had on that day:

Yup. It had to be mine.

Thursday, 10 April 2014


While digging around the bead stash, I found a bag with a half done project.
I remember buying this kit at the Frolic, but whether it was last year or the year before that (or even before that...) I can't remember.
I got halfway through a knitted wire bracelet before I gave it up. Reason? No idea. It's not hard. It's not too big. The wire is a bit of a pain to knit, but nothing that can't be done.

So I grabbed it and finished it up.

It's quite nice. And there's enough wire for another one. (Plus, I may have found more wire in my stash... Geez, I have GOT to stop buying stuff...)

Wednesday, 9 April 2014

more beads...

Yes, the obsession continues.
I've been digging in the bead stash, and have come up with a few options. 
These pink ones are actually already strung and started:

I'm incredibly fond of these metallic earth tones, and have many ideas for them - I just have to narrow them down - quite possibly it will be a variation of the pearl necklace, only using bugle beads where the pearls are:

And the blues and greens - always my favourite, and plans are in place for them as well.

I'm not sure this will stop any time soon...

Tuesday, 8 April 2014

pearls and sparkles

You guys are great for the ego! Such nice comments yesterday! I hope that means you aren't tired of the beads yet - there's lots more to come...

For this one I took grey pearls, and tri-cut beads (they're extra sparkly) and strung them up in a specific pattern:

Knit in garter stitch (really - that's all it is, garter stitch), stringing the beads in the pattern:

Stuff it all on possibly-too-short needles (must ask my husband if he can make me longer ones...):

Knit till you run out of beads, and voila! A fantastic necklace.
I actually overestimated this one - it's longer than I wanted, so I may one day rip it out and make it shorter and wider, but for now, I'm kind of in love with it.

I love how the satiny finish of the pearls works against the sparkle of the seed beads.

I've been trying to use up my bead stash without buying any more, but this has me craving more pearls...