Saturday, December 26, 2015

All is Calm, All is Bright

Winter is the time for comfort, for good food and warmth, for the touch of a friendly hand and for a talk beside the fire: it is the time for home. --Edith Sitwell
I've been looking forward to coming home to Winnipeg this Christmas. Each day this past autumn, my eyes kept wandering over to the calendar to see how much closer I was to December. And then, in a flash, it was here.

I've been feeling the darkness of winter more keenly this year: waking in darkness, and then arriving home again in darkness. Such is life in the Northern Hemisphere, and I am certainly not a stranger to it, but this year... this year seemed so DARK. And I mean "dark" with capital letters and booming, echoing voice.

We boarded a plane on Tuesday morning to come here. It was an early flight. We got to the airport shortly after 6:00am to depart for 7:20am. It was dark and frosty... and DARK. I was yawning and sleepy, even with the cup of coffee I downed before I left the house. We boarded the plane, where the flight attendant was a jolly, middle-aged man with a beard, a red Christmassy tie, and a white beard... for real. And when it came time to do the safety briefing, he sang it to us to a medley of Christmas songs in a deep, gentle voice. It was the best safety briefing ever: friendly and welcoming, and not remotely brash or annoying. We were all smiling.

We had a brief stopover in Vancouver airport, where they had turned the cart that ferries people to each gate into a red sleigh, complete with Santa, waving and ho-ho-ing and making people smile. It made me smile, too. I wish I'd gotten up the nerve to get a photo with him.

And then, I came home to a snowy winter - one of the few white Christmases in the country this year. We arrived in the afternoon, and when it was time for bed, we switched off the light, and I remembered what makes winter here so different from everywhere else I've lived. It's not just that it's so cold here...

... it's so BRIGHT.

There is nothing quite like the whiteness of snow to light up the place, both day and night. The light of the streetlights and the brightness of the full moon bounced off the show to light up my bedroom so brightly at night that I had to keep checking that I hadn't left a light on somewhere.

We went to the park today in the frigid weather to get some exercise after all of the food we ate on Christmas Day. When we got there, we found we weren't the only ones who preferred being there over the madness of Boxing Day shopping at the mall:

It wasn't so bad once you go in direct sunlight. As we stood looking over at the Red River, I was feeling quite comfortable in my double layers and wooly hat, mittens and scarf. You can see a trail there in the snow. I couldn't tell if they were animal tracks or someone snowshoeing from their house to the park:

I had plenty of choice for woollen warmth today. I finished my Cliff Hat the day before we came here. I only did three repeats, and then added a little pop of colour at the top that almost looks like a pompom. I was so excited about it that I soaked it that night and hoped desperately that it would dry by the morning... which it didn't. But luckily, the air in planes is so dry that it was ready by the time we landed:

And I liked it so much, that I made another one, this time starting with a green band and knitting it in opposite sequence. I finished it much more quickly since I had already mastered the alterations from the original pattern:

I thought I liked the one with the blue band better, but this Indigo Moon yarn is so nice, they both look fantastic. They are super comfortable, too. I gave the blue-banded one to my mom, and I took the green one. They both have had plenty of wear already:

I've started on another little project while I'm here: a pair of Cappio Fingerless Mitts. I brought along a skein of Malabrigo Rios that I've been hoarding in my collection for a while. The colourway is called Candombe, which is like a muddy watercolour palette. It's really hard to photograph. This skein has a distinct smoky green tone that I just couldn't capture. Bright days or not, I think I'll need to do some additional photos to really show these in their true colours:

The problem is that this project is going so quickly that I think I might run out of yarn to play with before I go back to the Island. Guh. Do I need an emergency visit to the yarn store when I already have an overwhelming stash at home? Oh dear... dilemma...

Still, things could be worse. I am so very, very grateful to be home with my family this year, what with my father's health being so poor. Maybe that's partly why the days also seem so much brighter: every day seems like a bonus. Even mundane things such as sitting and watching gameshows together seem like a relief... especially Family Feud...

... but let's not mention THAT, shall we?

You've probably noticed that I also spent some time working on the layout of this blog. I'm pretty happy with it, and I'll likely keep fiddling with it over the next few weeks until I'm satisfied. While I was working on it, I couldn't help but feel sad at how few posts I have written this year. I'm trying not to feel too bad about it: if there's anything I've learned recently, life is all about ebbs and flows. Maybe now that the blog is looking all spiffy, it'll inspire me to be a little more prolific with my writing next year...

That sounds suspiciously like a New Year's Resolution. Oh man. Here I am in my stretchy leggings and full belly and I'm already working on the resolutions. Maybe I better take a few deep breaths and enjoy each bright and sunny day one at a time. Yes, that seems like a good idea.

Happy Holidays, all.

Sunday, December 20, 2015

Merry Fishmas, Elf

My idea of Christmas, whether old-fashioned or modern, is very simple: loving others. Come to think of it, why do we have to wait for Christmas to do that? --Bob Hope
I had a weird week. I was sailing along through the last week of work before the holidays, when on Tuesday, I was hit with kind of a 24-hour bug. It's not the first time this has happened. I felt chills, then fatigue, and then I just felt all-out terrible. I went home. I took a hot bath, gave myself a foot scrub, took a nap, woke up with a headache, then took another nap...

And then, I felt fine. So freaking weird.

I decided to stay home on Wednesday, just to be sure I was ok. We're going home to my family over the holidays, and since my mom is immunosuppressed, I can't bring home any bugs. I slept a lot, drank a lot of water, and sat on the couch under blankets.

While I was home, I made this fish for a friend of mine who helped me out of a bind. I should have named him. I think we should call him Cliff. I think that's a good name for a fish: 

I used this pattern, but used some leftover worsted weight Patons Classic instead of sock yarn, and therefore, larger needles. I also reversed the direction of the dorsal fin, and fiddled with the tail to give it more of a tapered look.

I crocheted some lips onto him. And yeah.. his fins are a bit crooked, but that seemed to help him sit on my desk a bit better. Sorry about that, Cliff. The fact that I realized I was doing the head decreases wrong (and therefore, saved him from looking like a sturgeon) was a miracle. I guess I should knit toys more often.

In a rare fit of holiday spirit, I sat down yesterday and decided I'd crochet this elf. I'd been thinking of making it since last year when one of my Google+ friends shared it, and I thought he'd make a cute little gift. It took some hunting, but I eventually tracked down the pattern here. It's in Italian, and I thought I could wing it by making myself a strong coffee and reading it with the best Eat-Pray-Love accent I could muster, but it was the hubby who reminded me that I can upload files to Google Translate to get it into English. That wasn't as fun, but probably a lot more productive. I took me a couple of tries to make sure I understood what was happening, but the result is so darn cute that I put him on the couch next to me while I watched Jimmy Fallon. I think he enjoyed it.

He was actually a bit of a distraction from this hat, which I am basing on Shellie Anderson's Cliff Hat, except that I keep screwing it up. I've ripped it out at least four times in the last two days. I figure I'll either end up with a hat, or a really big pot holder. At least the yarn is holding up with all the ripping. It's hand-dyed worsted weight Merino from local yarn artist, Indigo Moon.

At least the elf is impressed:

It's only today that I'm getting the chance to take photos of my finished Svalbard. In truth, I wasn't really sure I liked the finished result, but I think it has grown on me over the week. I am happy with the colour, and with the way it hangs:

I am not in love with the way the button holes turned out. I hate making button holes in general - I am just not good at them. I might fiddle with them a bit more to make them better, but I'm going to leave it for now. It's enough to make me want to knit a pullover next. 

I am, however, very happy with the buttons. I actually went out and found three different options for it. I laid them each onto the sweater, hmm'd and hahhed, squinted my eyes at them, and even walked away to look out the window to refresh my eyes to make sure I liked them. And yeah, I really do:

But the part I like the best is the back. Bristol Ivy truly is a genius:

I was worried I'd be too cold with the short sleeves, but I wore it out for lunch today, and found I was warm enough with my alpaca shawl wrapped around my neck. It's certainly not the best for a true Canadian winter, but it'll do for a cafe lunch on Vancouver Island:

Given that I had that weird health blip in the middle of the week, it's been an oddly productive project week: quite possibly the most productive yarn week I've had all year. Huh.. interesting.

Perhaps it's because I don't usually knit for other people. I am a self-proclaimed Selfish Knitter, and I'm really protective of the time I spend with my yarn. Maybe crafting for other people makes me go faster. It's an interesting result, and it's a nice thing to be able to do, and it makes me feel good, but I think I'll keep the yarn project gifts as a rarity. Yarn is not to be rushed, no matter who it's for.

We're off to my family on Tuesday morning, and I'm really looking forward to it. People keep asking me if I'm ready for Christmas, and yeah, I really am. Our family holiday has never been about the gifts. It's always been a day of visits from friends and family, and sitting together and enjoying food and conversation and company. Am I ready for that? Oh yes, I really, really am.

Happy Holidays!

Sunday, December 13, 2015

Brain-Tipper, Finger-Tester

One tends to give one's fingers too little credit for their own good sense. -- Elizabeth Zimmerman
I like to think of myself as a pretty confident crafter. Once I know what I want to make, I can usually wander my way through a project until I get what I want. It usually means a lot of squinting at the ceiling for me, because that's what I look like when I'm trying to figure something out in my head. I guess I'm hoping that the answer is going to be written up there somewhere, or maybe I'm tipping my brain backwards in the hopes that the answer I'm looking for is going to trickle down through the mess that's in there. Either way, I'm usually pretty good at fumbling my way to the the goal...

... until this sweater came along.

I've spent a bunch of time fretting over this sweater. I realized this weekend that I really haven't knit myself many sweaters recently, and so my ideas of sizing and yarn allowance is really skewed. As a result, I'm still really not sure about this project. Is it too big? Too small? Too long? Too short? What ho, Goldilocks? Is it ever going to be just right?

But, as with anything you do, you can either give up or keep on going. And I'm nearly there.

I've learned a few things while knitting this:
  1. You need a lot more yarn than you think if you're knitting anything with a ribbed pattern.
  2. If I'm worried that I'm going to run out of yarn, I knit faster.
  3. When I knit faster, stop a lot more often to look up other patterns for plans in case this project doesn't work out.
  4. When I look for other patterns, I knit faster still, because now I have other things I want to make.
Knitting is a terrible affliction at times.

I had to keep re-imagining what I wanted this sweater to be as I worked away at it. Having abandoned the original pattern, my final goal was still somewhat hazy. At first, I thought I wanted it to be a fitted sweater with a tall collar with buttons that went all the way up to the neck... except, I realized this weekend that my fingers had actually knitted a v-neck sweater that would probably fasten at the bust, at best. 

Well gee, fingers. Thanks a lot.

That meant I had to ditch the tall, ribbed collar and knit a ribbed edging along the fronts and the neckline, which is pretty, but I'm still getting used to the idea.

I also had to re-imagine the sleeves from the long, wrist-length sleeves I wanted into a three-quarter length (or, if I'm honest, two-thirds) sleeve, because I was rapidly running out of yarn. The option to get more was out of the question, because this is a discontinued colourway of Cascade 220. The final bind off for the second sleeve was a bit of a nail-biter, because, as of the final stitch, I had 5 inches of yarn left.

Note to self: Stop buying discontinued yarns.

Second note to self: You've got a couple of bags of discontinued yarn upstairs that you probably don't have enough of either. Ya big dummy.

The whole thing is currently drying after a long soak to block out all my uneven stitches. Oddly, it shed a lot of dye in the water: I had to change the water three times before it looked like it was going to stop, which is odd for Cascade yarns. I'm still not sure of it. I'm debating whether or not it needs buttons, and if so, what kind it needs. I looked through my button jar, and the only ones that looked close to suitable were these ones I got at an antique mall a few months ago. I think they might be a bit too red, I don't know. I might have to have a wander through one of the local yarn shops to see if there's anything better. I'd appreciate an opinion or two here, really.

But there are still some things about it that I think I've done really well. I liked the way I bound off all the edges using Jeny's Surprisingly Stretchy Bind Off, which I've used so often that I can now do it without looking. I actually do it with a crochet hook, which makes it easier for me to keep it even. Yup... the fingers did a nice job with this one:

So, here I sit with a wet sweater that I'm not sure of. What now?

I think I'll plan a project with this yarn. I've got five skeins of it. I think I'll make a sweater out of it. And, oh yeah... it's a discontinued colourway, too.

Looks like I'll be doing a lot of brain-tipping and finger-testing again. Yay me.

Sunday, December 6, 2015

Markets and Dinosaurs: Getting Into the Holiday Spirit

I have never listened to anyone who criticized my taste in space travel, sideshows or gorillas. When this occurs, I pack up my dinosaurs and leave the room. --Ray Bradbury
I like snow. A lot of people hate it, and, growing up in Winnipeg and then living in Alberta for six years, I totally get that. I'm not a fan of the cold air hurting my face, but I do miss the snow. People who grew up here on Vancouver Island often look at me like I've got two heads when I say that I miss snow. I'm entitled to my own likes and dislikes, and I'm learning to pack up my dinosaurs and leave the room when people criticize me for it, as Ray Bradbury says.

I'm having a hard time believing that it's nearly Christmas, due to the lack of snow on Vancouver Island. I'm actually ok with not having snow here, because I find that, when it does snow here, it's that wet, sticky snow that turns into treacherous icy conditions that make me want to stay off the roads and hide at home under blankets until it's all over. But, as a prairie girl, I'm used to the arrival of snow to trigger my holiday spirit.

So, to try to trigger it for myself, I've been trying to stop in at Christmas markets whenever I hear about them. There has been one going on for the last couple of weekends at a place near here called The Community Farm Store. The market is called Drift: A Winter Artisan Market, and I was especially interested because all of the vendors there were indeed artisans, selling their handmade wares. For me, a market is not a market if there are no artisans there.

This week, I entered a draw on the Facebook event page for this market and was lucky enough to win this lovely hand sewn pouch by a vendor called Drift and Nest:

Draws like these are such great ideas because 1) people will spread the news about the event and 2) if you win, you have to go to the event to get it. And well, twist my rubber arm and tell me I have to go to a market, why don't you. 

While I was there, I met Elissa, the artisan behind Drift and Nest and got chatting with her. I found out she'd only learned to sew a few months ago, which totally blew me away. Learning to sew, then learning to set zippers, and then making pouches and pillows and cushions for sale to the public, all in a few months? I was so, so impressed. Her fabric right now comes from  South America and Mexicoall over the world, brought back to her by her family from their travels.

I bought this pouch as well, both because I wanted to support her, and also because I'm also a closet stationery addict who is always on the hunt for the perfect pencil case. It's difficult to be a stationery addict in a world that pressures me to do everything on my smart phone, but again, I'm quite ok with packing up my dinos for that argument and enjoying my pencil case instead:

And, anyone who bought a pouch, got a free ornament as well:

While I was there, I strolled around and met and chatted with the other vendors. It was there that I met Lawrence of Wood Bee Designs, who makes items out of vintage postage stamps. He knew I was from Winnipeg when I stopped and smiled at this Portage and Main stamp. "Sometimes, when I make things, I know it's for one specific person out there." And it turned out to be me:

I got a few other things that I can't share here because they're gifts for people, but I feel happy that I got a chance to go and support some artisans and get a little festive spirit going:

In the meantime, I'm still working on my Svalbard. I'm loving this sweater, but I'm still nervous about it. I completely disregarded the instructions to knit the swingy fronts and am making a more traditional cardigan, but I'm feeling a little wary that this blatant disregard of the rules is somehow going to come back to haunt me. Maybe I shouldn't have packed up the dinos on this one...

I'm still unsure of the sizing. I want to call it the Incredible Illusion Sweater, because when it's lying flat, it looks incredibly small due to the way all the ribbing pulls the fabric inward. People ask me who it's for, and I tell them it's for me, they look at it, and then look back at me, and put on that sympathetic "oooh, she's crazy" look, and nod. I have to keep stopping and measuring and trying it on, because even I'm not so sure that it's right:

This is the back. You can see that there are variations of ribbing there as well, and when I try it on, it looks amazing, honestly it does.

I think what I love most about it is that it's completely the opposite of what I've been finding in the stores this season. Every time I wander into the shops, all I see are racks upon racks of grey, white, or black sweaters, mostly oversized, mostly boxy in shape, and mostly acrylic. And they're pretty, and yeah, I bought one, but I feel like it's a uniform right now that I'm a bit tired of seeing.

So, a pink fitted sweater for me. And if I stick out like a sore thumb, well so be it. I will be a lady in a pink sweater with a special love for snow and artisan markets and pencil cases. If anyone needs me, I'll be over here with my Happy Meal playing with my dinos...

Sunday, November 29, 2015

Not a Mountain Goat

What we do during our working hours determines what we have; what we do in our leisure hours determines what we are.-- George Eastman
After a week off at home, I must say: I'm going to do this staycation thing again. I love being at home with no obligations apart from such arduous things as doctor's check ups, afternoon naps, yoga, and massage appointments. By Wednesday, I'd mostly run out of things to do: I'd made all my lunches for next week and cleaned both bathrooms. I took to things like re-discovering games on the iPad I'd forgotten about. I started a game of Mahjong at 9:45pm. AND I finished it. I didn't sleep until 10:15pm. Party on, dudes.

On Thursday, we departed for a couple of days in Victoria. I love visiting Victoria. It's my kind of city: not too large, not too busy,  not too crowded, lots of good shopping and architecture and scenery to enjoy.

And while Victoria is not technically "home" for me, it has all the things I enjoy. The hubby often jokes that we do all the same things on holiday as we do at home, but it's the change of scenery that does it for me. Sandwiches and tea and cakes should be enjoyed wherever one travels, in my opinion:

Of course, discovering new things is also important, and so finding Russell Books was a welcome distraction. How delightful to stride into a shop and be met with a sight such as this:

Aisles upon aisles of books, new and used, all there to browse through:

The overstock and oversize books are all on the uppermost shelves. I smiled when I was in the recipe book section to see labels like "Cheese Overstock," "Fruits and Vegetables Overstock," and "Grilling Overstock":

And, in the psychology section, the "Can't Remember What I Forgot Oversize" label had me giggling:

It being nearly three weeks to Christmas, the city was decked out in lights. The Provincial Legislative Buildings were particularly festive:

On Friday, we walked up to the top of Mount Douglas, which was sort of my idea, but I regretted it as soon as I realized it was a slow, steady incline the whole way, which was a bit much for my tight hip flexors. But the view and the warm sunshine at the top was worth it. It's days like these that I envy mountain goats. The views they get are spectacular:

And, what about the knitting? Well...

My Svalbard was coming along swimmingly until I separated for the sleeves and tried it on. It was at least 5 inches too big around the bust. And, while I know it's supposed to be a roomy cardigan, I felt more like a linebacker than the trendy hipster I hoped to resemble. So, I had to rip back. And it was not easy because I had already woven in some ends and had to find them again so I could make sure I didn't make a mess of it... but that sort of turned into a mess as well.

Ripping out a few hours of knitting is a practice in acceptance: acceptance that, try as I may, mistakes are inevitable, and that it's always better to take the time to do things right than to try to cover up errors later. It's like the mantra that we learned at the yoga retreat I attended a couple of weeks ago: May I accept the mysterious unfolding of my life.

So, after a week off, my sweater is exactly at the same place as it was this time last week. I'm still worried about it not being the right size. And yes, I must accept it. This is why I do all that yoga. Om.

What I also must accept is that Monday means I am back to work. Such things are inevitable: after all, I am not a lady of leisure, nor am I a mountain goat, and therefore, hi-ho, hi-ho, it's off to my desk I go.

But first: I have a 10k to do this morning. This one is in support of the local food bank, and has cinnamon buns at the end of it. Wish me luck!

Monday, November 23, 2015

When Cookies Keep You On Track

The alternative to a vacation is to stay home and tip every third person you see. ~Author Unknown
Sometimes, all I yearn for is a day to myself at home: nowhere to be, no one to bother me, just me and my hobbies and a warm place to sit. For me, that is the best kind of day off.

I also secretly yearn to watch daytime television, but I don't know if I'm just getting older or TV is just getting worse, but the squak box just disappointed me today. It's just a reminder that there are better things to do with one's time, I suppose. It would've been better if Oprah was still on... but I digress...

It's a cool, rainy, and possibly slushy day out there. I got up this morning and went to the gym like a good girl, and after I came home and took a shower, I made myself a cup of coffee and started a batch of Guinness and beef stew in the slow cooker. It's a perfect meal for a day like this. I loved watching the ingredients going in as I washed and chopped:

It's also a good excuse for using some of the fresh rosemary that our landlord planted in our front garden. I went out and cut it and stripped it straight into the pot, freshly washed by the rain. Our landlord spoils us, you know: they planted the garden, and they come over and weed it for us. They sweep the parking lot, salt the steps if it's icy, clean the gutters, give me free plants for the back garden. I don't know if I can live anywhere else now.

While the stew bubbled away in the slow cooker, I kept myself occupied with my current sweater project. I keep falling in and out of love with it. I'm loving the colour of it, which reminds me of the lillies in the bouquet of flowers my family sent me for my birthday last week:

I'm modifying Bristol Ivy's Svalbard to have a more traditional raglan front. It was a good choice to switch to this yarn. The tone and shade of the rose colour is really showing off the definition of the cartridge rib. I'm a bit worried about it, though. It's so brilliantly designed that it seems a sacrilege to mess with it, and I'm unsure if my modifications will give me the result I want. Thus, I knit a few rows, loving the look of it, then I knit the next few rows, worried that it will look really awful in the end. This is a true test of trusting my instincts:

My stitch markers are keeping a smile on my face, though. The sweater is knit in one piece from the neck downwards, and has a lot of things going on at the same time. I chose the markers carefully to help me keep track of where I am. From the edges to the Oreo markers are the fronts:

Between each Oreo and the macaroon are the sleeve stitches:

Between the two macaroons are the back stitches. And then, between those two markers are two jade snail shells, which are marking a chevron stitch pattern:

If your cookies and macaroons can't keep you right, well, there's clearly something wrong in the world.

I have the whole week off this week. So far, the first day is making me feel like a child with a bag of sweets... eagerly savouring each one, but looking carefully, almost anxiously, at how many I have left. I'm so grateful to have these days that I don't want to squander a single moment. On Thursday, we are going to Victoria for a couple of nights for a change of scenery, which I am also looking forward to.

I'm still hanging on tightly to every moment at home. Tomorrow, I have a couple of appointments, but I'm looking forward to coming back to the couch to knit and drink tea and nap. It's not glamorous, but it's perfect right now.

The stew is almost ready. Must be off. Have a lovely week!

Saturday, November 14, 2015

Neon Races, Frosty Shawls

Whoa, another two weeks flew past. What the what? Are we nearly in the middle of November again? Huh?

I'm beginning to think that this time of year has a weird hex on it for me. Perhaps it is the time change: suddenly, I've been plunged into darkness, and therefore, I feel sleepy as soon as I get home after work, and therefore, I feel like I'm walking in a dreamland. Time seems to fly past.

But dreamland or not, I have still been busy. Last weekend, I ran a 10k in Vancouver for the inaugural Great Climate Race, support of solar projects in British Columbia. It was a good run: I could have fuelled better, and I could have paced better, and a guy running in a hot dog costume was faster than me, but it was a beautiful run on a dry day with a very good crowd for a good cause. I can't complain. I felt privileged to be there:

My friend took this shot of me at the finish line. The neon makes me faster:

And the week before that, one of my friends (the same one that took the photo above) asked me if I might be able to repair a hole in a sweater for her. She wasn't worried about matching the pattern: she just didn't want a cold elbow anymore. I'd never done it before, and it was a bit daunting:

But with a bit of thought, I think I came up with pretty good solution. Not bad, eh?

And the other night, I finally finished my Moonlight Sonata shawl. I am actually in awe of it. I was not prepared for how beautiful this thing would be. I think it looks like the delicate frost that you see on your windows on a cold, bright, winter's day:

In a rare moment of forethought (or paranoia), I actually decided to bind off early for this shawl. If I'd actually thought about it a bit longer, I could have tracked how much yarn I was using for each repeat, observing the ratio of growth per repeat, and then extrapolated how many more repeats I could have worked before I ran out of yarn...

But what actually happened was that I freaked out and bailed early.

Turns out, I probably could have done at least one more repeat before I running out. When I finished the final stitch, I sighed and thought it would be too small to wear. Before blocking, as is the case with all lace projects, it looked like a crumpled heap of used handkerchief. I still wasn't sure about it after it was all stretched out and pinned and drying on the blocking boards. But then, after I took it off the boards, I stood there, staring at it in silence. Oh yes...

It was difficult to photograph the colours in the yarn. There are subtle tones of lavender and grey throughout. I was a little afraid they would create weird stripes, but they just seem to add depth to its ethereal nature:

And, as a bonus, I most likely have enough to make a pair of cafe mitts. I lost one of mine recently, and it's made me a bit tetchy for another pair... but we won't talk about that just now...

My next project is one that I've been working on in my brain for a while: Bristol Ivy's Svalbard. I'm not keen on the way the front is designed - the swingy front cardigan is just not flattering on me. It seemed like an easy calculation at the time, but there are a lot of clever things going on in this pattern, so I eventually had to sit down and plot it out on paper. I was feeling quite clever about it...

... except that I woke up at 4:00am this morning with the realization that this yellow yarn is just not right for this pattern. So, this afternoon, I wound a ball of Cascade 220 in colourway 2412 Rose, which is a dusky pinky plum colour, and I'm about to knit a swatch to test the gauge. I think will work much better. I didn't think my colour instinct would wake me up in the middle of the night, but there you go.

So, that's two weeks in a nutshell for you. I hope the next week doesn't fly by like that again. I'd sort of like to enjoy it, because it's my birthday on Tuesday, and it's true what they say: the older you get, the faster time flies. It'd be nice to slow down enough to at least enjoy a mouthful of birthday cake.

I've just looked out the window, and it's gone dark again. Sigh. Wake me up in spring, would you?