Sunday, September 9, 2012

Knitting Experiences - 5 years later!

I was reading back through the blog today trying to find a reference to something that I apparently didn't ever blog about (big surprise right? ;) ).  But I did come across this, posted almost 5 years ago just as I was getting more serious about knitting and thought I'd post it again and see how much has changed in my knitting.

Mark with bold the things you have ever knit, with italics the ones you plan to do sometime, and leave the rest.

Garter stitch

Knitting with metal wire
Stockinette stitch
Socks: top-down
Socks: toe-up

Knitting with camel yarn
Mittens: Cuff-up
Mittens: Tip-down
Knitting with silk
Moebius band knitting

Participating in a KAL

Drop stitch patterns
Knitting with recycled/secondhand yarn
Slip stitch patterns
Knitting with banana fiber yarn
Domino knitting (=modular knitting)
Twisted stitch patterns
Knitting with bamboo yarn
Two end knitting
Charity knitting
Knitting with soy yarn
Toy/doll clothing
Knitting with circular needles
Baby items
Knitting with your own handspun yarn
Graffiti knitting (knitting items on, or to be left on the street)
Continental knitting
Designing knitted garments
Cable stitch patterns (incl. Aran)
Lace patterns
Publishing a knitting book
Teaching a child to knit (haven't taught a child but have taught other people)
American/English knitting (as opposed to continental)
Knitting to make money
Button holes
Knitting with alpaca
Fair Isle knitting

Norwegian knitting
Dying with plant colours
Knitting items for a wedding
(currently knitting a shawl to wear for a wedding, not one I'm in though!)
Household items (dishcloths, washcloths, tea cosies...)
Knitting socks (or other small tubular items)on two circulars
Olympic knitting
Knitting with someone eles's handspun yarn
Knitting with dpns
Holiday related knitting
Teaching a male how to knit
Knitting for a living
Knitting with cotton
Knitting smocking
Dying yarn
Knitting art
Knitting two socks on two circulars simultaneously
Knitting with wool
Textured knitting
Kitchener BO
Knitting with beads

Long Tail CO
Knitting and purling backwards
Machine knitting
Knitting with self patterning/self striping/variegating yarn
Stuffed toys
Baby items
Knitting with cashmere

Knitting with synthetic yarn
Writing a pattern
Knitting with linen
Knitting for preemies
Tubular CO
Freeform knitting
Short rows
Cuffs/fingerless mits/armwarmers

Knitting a pattern from an online knitting magazine
Knitting on a loom
Thrummed knitting
Knitting a gift
Knitting for pets
Knitting with dog/cat hair
Hair accessories
Knitting in public

So, encouraging to see how many of the items on this list turned from italics into bold, things I wanted to try that I have.  Also surprising to see a few items I didn't think I'd want to try have turned into things I've done. A few new things added to the list of what I'd like to try, nice to see I still have some new things to try in knitting, not something I think I'll ever run out of :)

Tuesday, June 5, 2012

Weekend at Sick Kids Celebrity Bonspiel

Don't have time to do a full blog post about this weekend right now, so will instead post the letter I just sent to all my awesome sponsors (surpassed my fundraising goal & will have a higher one for next year!) and some pictures from the weekend! (picture of the skips by Anil Mungal, remainder mine)  Huge thanks also go out to the organizing committee, Jeff, Pete & Kevin, and the corporate sponsors who made this event possible, especially Capital One for this event & all you do for curling!

Hi all!

I wanted to send you all huge thanks for being my sponsors in the Celebrity Bonspiel for Sick Kids this weekend. It was an amazing time and such a great event. The overall event ended up raising more than $100,000 (before the silent auction started which also did well) which is $25,000 more than they raised last year so thank you all for your generous donations!

Our Celebrity Skips for the weekend - from Canada and across the globe!
(Photo by Anil Mungal)

I was placed on a team with Heather Smith-Dacey (the skip from the Nova Scotia team which has been at the Scottie’s for the last 2 years) and got to play against Silvana Tirinzoni (skip of the Swiss National team), Crystal Webster (skip of Team Alberta at 2011 Scotties and beat out in Alberta semi-finals by team Nedohin this year) and Teri Lake (lead for Smith-Dacey’s team). Our team had a great time playing and missed out on the playoffs by less than 2 points.

Ryan Fry watching Sara Carlsson's game vs Rachel Homan

Throughout the weekend it was a lot of fun to sit and chat with all the curlers, the amateurs and the “celebrities”, all sitting around having conversations you would find at any curling club after a game. It was also really interesting to watch the celebrity skips on the other draws and get to see them play up close.

Glenn Howard vs Alison Kreviazuk
The Brier Tankard also made an appearance
  Saturday night was a banquet and dance and a chance to find out just how hard the celebrity curlers can party (just as well as they can curl!) & I had a great time partying and dancing with Alison Kreviazuk (who knew me from Twitter), Rachel Homan, Kaitlyn Lawes, Tracey Horgan, Eve Muirhead, Heath McCormick and a host of other young curlers.

Me & my skip for the weekend, Heather Smith-Dacey
So thank you again so much for the support, it means a lot to be able to give back to such a great cause!!


Tuesday, November 1, 2011


Many of you may have heard of NaNoWriMo, National Novel Writing Month, but may not have heard of NaKniSweMo. During NaNoWriMo writers across the globe endeavor to complete a 50,000 word novel. As NaNoWriMo's knitting counterpart, during NaKniSweMo knitters across the globe try to complete a sweater with 50,000 stitches in one month. (For comparison your average pair on fingering weight handknit socks have around 15,000-20,000 stitches)

I haven't participated previously, but having competed in the Knitting Olympics in February and Ravelwealth Games (which ran alongside the Commonwealth Games) this year as well as having a number of friends who are attempting NaNoWriMo I thought it would be a fun time to join in!

So joining I am. I'm going to try and knit Elizabeth Zimmermann's Green Sweater, whose very interesting tale is told in this article in Twist Collective and can be seen on Ravelry here.

I've swatched, I've wound my yarn and today I start!


What You're (Probably Not) Missing at Home, Volume 1

This week's What You're (Probably Not) Missing at Home is seasonal, as it's that time of year that we have to get the calves ready for sale and fill Grandma's basement with wood for the winter.

For those of you who don't know, we have a beef farm, about 2 hours away from our house at my grandmother's, and operate a cow-calf operation, which means the cows are bred over the summer, have their calves in March-April-ish and then we sell the calves at a calf sale in November. In order to sell them, they have to get 2 rounds of vaccine over the month or so before the sale. Dad & I headed up to the farm to do the first round last week.

The first step in doing this is always to get the cows into the barn, of which they're very suspicious! This is what they look like as they run away from where you're trying to herd them!


Then you wander out further in the field to try and bring them back...


Once you do get them closer to the barn, they're usually not too bad to get into the barn, although there was one fun steer that I had to chase around the corral a few times, he's an excited one!

Once we had them in the barn, we let all the cows out because we were only vaccinating the calves, this makes it less crowded in the barn and easier to sort calves, but a lot louder in the barnyard as the mama cows aren't impressed at being separated from their babies. This clip is actually a lot quieter than it was at times!

The heifers we kept over last year and bred this summer got magnets since we're keeping them. (Magnets go in their stomachs so that if they accidentally eat any nails or stray pieces of fencing or other metal it sticks to the magnet & doesn't pierce their stomach lining.)


Then we waited for the vet to show so that we could run the rest of the calves through. We had one cow with horns that needed to be dehorned, and a male calf who was still a bit bull-ish even after our attempt to steer him that needed to be fully castrated. I was in the barn with Grandma sending calves out the chute to the head gate. And let me tell you, some of these calves are going to be fun to get back in the barn after the experience they had this time!


Getting the calves through the vaccination process didn't actually take too long, but you never go to the farm just to do one thing! Always tons of odd jobs to be done!

Among the other things we did:

Fixed the windows in the old chicken coop:

IMG_1518 IMG_1520

Cleaned out the outdoor water trough at the creek:


Trimmed a tree away from the hydro line (shh, don't tell Mom!):


Bedded the barn down with straw (flake straw off the bale, toss it down the hole in the barn loft floor, spread around so it's nice & comfy for the cows):


And various other things, including stone picking, fence fixing, fence checking and more!

And of course we did wood. Grandma has a wood stove in her house that she uses extensively for heat in the winter, so every fall we fill her basement up with wood.

This starts by heading up to the woodlot on the tractors, one with a trailer to fill & one with the wood spliter on the back.


This also means you get to wear such sexy outfits as this:


Once at the wood pile by the woods, Dad gets out the chainsaw, cuts the logs up into ~2 ft chunks & I run the spliter (the blue thing) and then chuck the split pieces into the trailer.


When the trailer is full, we drive that tractor down to the house, back it up to an open basement window and start pitching until the trailer is empty and the basement is full.



And repeat!
And of course going anywhere with the tractors means stopping at every fence and gate, getting out, opening /lowering the gate/fence, getting back on, driving through/over, getting out, closing/putting back up said gate/fence. It is easier though when there are two of you!


Fun times! And of course, we'll get to repeat for the booster of the vaccine sometime this week :)

Up next in the What You're (Probably Not) Missing at Home: What we've done to your room since you're not in it!

New Name, New Blog Series!

Some of you may have noticed that I've updated the title of this blog. I didn't think what I was posting really fit the old name as I was doing more random ramblings that didn't necessarily include knitting and baking and have more of that planned. Don't worry I'll still ramble on about knitting (Especially this month potentially! NaKniSweMo starts today & I'm casting on!) and baking, it will just me more interspersed with posts about other things.

Which brings me to my new series. My brother is on a high school exchange with Rotary right now. So for a year he's living in The Netherlands, going to school there and attempting to learn Dutch. Over the past few months he's been gone there are a few things I know he's either missing being here for or completely glad he's not here to be involved. So with that in mind I'm going to start writing about "What You're Missing at Home This Week" and/or "What You're (Probably Not) Missing at Home This Week". May not be weekly or timely, but you've probably come to expect that, given my history of very sporadic updating!