Monday, March 11, 2013

Bits and pieces

I promised a photo of the completed photographer's mitts - well, here they are, modelled by my friend, Kathy. She likes to take photos in all sorts of weather, so I made her a pair. Kathy is participating in the 365 Project, and when she posted a photo of the mitts, a bunch of other people said they were interested, so I opened an Etsy shop. Unfortunately, no one ordered a pair, so I closed it after a month to save money.

Sam (Sam's Forever Dreaming) and Spot (Spot My Dream) have a new home in Pakenham. I can't keep all my ponies, and my daughter can't afford to geld Sam, so they were offered up to new homes. They went together, so they'll be company for each other. I miss them both.

Pebbles and Beauty were worried for a couple of days, but seem to have settled down now.

Sunday, January 13, 2013


Yesterday, a friend and I took a small road trip to Carleton Place. I had a gift certificate from a silent auction to use at the Real Wool Shop, and my friend just needed to get out of the house.

The weather was unseasonably warm for January - plus 8 C by the time we got home - and although the sun wasn't shining, it was fairly bright. We took the 417 and 7 out to Carleton Place, and saw a few turkeys, lots of crows, and possibly a hawk (it's hard to tell at 100 kph!).

Once there, we looked around the clothing (50% off a lot, and no tax on the rest), and my friend found clothes she wanted for a really good price. Black pants, black shirt, black jacket - and although that sounds a bit dark, black looks really good on her. Everything was 50% off, except for the jacket - that was a whopping 75% off as it was last year's stock. She was thrilled! I bought a pair of black stretch pants suitable for working out (hopefully I will get back to that in earnest again soon), and some beautiful yarn.

It's alpaca from Magpie Hill Alpacas in North Gower. It's a dark, heathery brown, soft and luscious. I plan to make a shawl out of it, something I can wrap around my shoulders on a cool spring or fall night. Double knitting (DK) weight, it'll be perfect for the pattern that I have in mind.

I also worked on another pair of socks last night. My parents gave me some Kroy sock yarn in grey brown marl (brown, grey, and brick red stripes - self-patterning yarn) for Christmas, and I'm two thirds of the way through the first sock now. These ones will be for me, as usual. The next pair that I make will be for my mom.

On the needles as well are a special pair of mitts for a friend. They're in Kroy sock yarn too, but there's no colour listed on the band. Multicoloured, with pinks, greens and greys, they'll be bright and warm. The index finger and thumb on the right hand will be open at the tip so that she can use them when she's out taking photos in the winter.

It's a pattern that I came up with for another friend, Heather, who owns Liberty Shots, a company that does professional photography and developing. Heather takes photos in all sorts of weather, and wanted something that kept her fingers warm, that she didn't have to take off during a photoshoot. These fill the bill admirably. Based on an old "Shooting Mitt" pattern that I made a long, long time ago for my ex-father-in-law for hunting, they knit up quickly.

I'll post photos as I finish these projects.

Thursday, January 10, 2013

Knitting as therapy?

I feel calmer when I have my knitting in my hands. It helps me think. It's somewhat mindless to keep going around and around in circles on my socks - and fhe finished product is a delight to wear.

Now there's a group in the UK that uses knitting to help people deal with hand injuries and Post Traumatic Stress: Stitchlinks. Here's a post about them from Knit on the Net.

When you think about it, it makes a lot of sense. Simple, repetitive movements, with lots of options for needle position and size, and materials that can make you feel good just by touching them.

I wonder if there's a similar group in Canada?

Monday, January 7, 2013

Back again

I thought it was about time that I started keeping up my blog again. So much has changed since my last post in <gasp>July 2007. Jobs have come and gone, and my pony, Sneakers (the original Sneakypony), crossed over the Rainbow Bridge last summer at a ripe old age (between 34 and 38, according to the vet). He's sadly missed by me and many others.

2012 was a year of change. My daughter's relationship broke up, so she lost the farm. Many of the horses were adopted or sold, she had a big garage sale to clear out some of the stuff, and she moved. I completed my Project Management certificate, an Advanced Excel course, and started looking for work.

My ponies moved to a boarding stable - and are quite a bit closer to me now.

Mitts and socks were knitted, and I gave away a lot of acrylic yarn to friends of my Mom who make afghans and other items for veterans and the homeless. I have lots more to share, too.

This evening, I was digging in the archives of my basement (stuff is stored in layers in some places), trying to thin the clutter, and I found a bag of mixed yarn that must have come from my aunt. The bag crumbled at my touch to cellophane crumbs - I'll have to vacuum later - but it contained some interesting items.

In among the "unknown fibre" acrylic-type yarns and knitting needles were two skeins of Patons & Baldwins "Atlantic" wool - manufactured in Toronto, Ontario. Pure wool - and still a brilliant scarlet. Each skein is "approximately 1 oz", or about 28 grams. It's old enough, though, that metric wasn't used very often. I haven't decided what to do with it yet, but before I knit it up, I'll photograph the ball bands for posterity.

While searching on Google for any information on Patons & Baldwin and Atlantic wool, I discovered that my grandmother and great aunt's knitting books are now worth far more than they paid for them in the war years and before. Some of them, with cover prices under a dollar, are worth $20 or more now. Although I don't plan to sell the ones that I have, it's nice to know that they're still valued.

EastWind Pony Club is recruiting new members again. Four members remain from last year's membership. We have 2013 calendars for sale at $10 each, and are planning our meetings for the next four or five months. We're looking forward to Winter Camp at McSkimming, Quiz, and PPGs already! Based loosely in Casselman, we meet in East Ottawa, Casselman, Moose Creek or Plantagenet, depending on the plan for the meeting.

Wednesday, July 11, 2007

Just for fun...

I decided to do this personality test.

You Are An ISTJ

The Duty Fulfiller

You are responsible, reliable, and hardworking - you get the job done.
You prefer productive hobbies, like woodworking or knitting.
Quiet and serious, you are well prepared for whatever life hands you.
Conservative and down-to-earth, you hardly ever do anything crazy.

In love, you are loyal and honest. If you commit yourself to someone, then you're fully committed.
For you, love is something that happens naturally. And you don't need romantic gestures to feel loved.

At work, you remember details well and are happy to take on any responsibility.
You would make a great business executive, accountant, or lawyer.

How you see yourself: Decisive, stable, and dependable

When other people don't get you, they see you as: Boring, conservative, and egotistical

It's loosely based on Myers-Briggs from what I can see, but not the full version of the test. I'm usually an INTJ, rather than an ISTJ, but the N may come from a question (or a dozen) that isn't in this version of the test.

I do knit, but I read everything that comes my way, and I'm pretty firmly in the liberal, rather than conservative, part of the political spectrum. Down-to-earth? Well, yes. I believe in recycling, reusing, repurposing and reducing waste. I'm honest and generally straightforward, although I have become slightly more tactful as I matured. I don't wear fussy clothing or collect fripperies, and running shoes, Birks or steel toes are my preferred footwear for all occasions.

Some people may see me as boring - or bored - but its situationally dependent. If you met me at a sports event (hockey, baseball, etc.), I would be bored, but at horse event, I'm an eager participant even if I'm the photographer. If I'm talking about something that you're not interested in, such as books or horses or riding or knitting or my work as a writer, then you may find me boring. :)

My work ethic is good, and I'm definitely reliable - but I like my erratic work schedule and working from home. I like challenges in my work, and learning something new helps keep it fresh (and me interested). I know that I do what I do well - and my clients/employers appreciate my abilities.

The egotistical part doesn't really fit as far as I can tell, but then again, sometimes people tell me that I appear aloof in social gatherings. It's not because I think I'm better (or bored), it's because I'm unsure how to behave in that particular situation. In the past year or so, I am pushing past my comfort zone and working hard at becoming a more social (sociable?) person, and making an effort to meet new people rather than being shy and retiring, and waiting for the world to find me.

Friday, June 29, 2007

June is almost over - where did the time go?

Time for an update.

Baby and Sheba have gone off to horse heaven where the grass is always green. We donated the foal's body to Kemptville College (associated with Guelph University) for research purposes, and the results are absolutely fascinating to the various pathologists.

Baby will be the basis for at least one thesis, several papers, and even more research. No one has ever seen a defect such as what was wrong with her eyes. Morbid it may sound, but I'm glad that Sheba's last foal, even though we couldn't keep her alive, will live on in the annals of veterinary medicine.

On to more pleasant things now. All the other horses, dogs, cats and birds are fine. Queenie and Shadow are heading off tomorrow to be bred to a couple of stallions in Smiths Falls. Hopefully, they'll give us some fine foals next year. We'll have to wait eleven months to find out, though.

The "rat bastards", to quote the Yarn Harlot, are thriving around my neighbourhood. One was lurking at the edge of my neighbour's fence, trying to look innocent.

The other was gathering pinecones under one of my trees.

We have black, grey and red squirrels, and even some really cute chipmunks.

Some of the neighbours think that they're all cute and feed them peanuts and sunflower seeds. I don't feed them, but I do share my dog's fur with all the birds and beasties in the neighbourhood. My dog sheds a lot of hair even though she's little - and she sheds it year-round.

The flowers are blooming in my yard and my neighbour's. I managed to get some good photos of my clematis and the other seasonal flowers over the last month. Bear with me as I show you.

That's enough for now. All that I've been knitting is dishcloths - I think I have 20+ now, some plain, others in various patterns. I'll put them all together and take a picture.

Saturday, May 19, 2007

Sad days

This should be a happy day. It's not.

My mare, Sheba, had her foal yesterday. It's a filly, a sweet little thing, but she was born with a serious, uncorrectable birth defect: She has no eyes. Everything else is perfect - cute little ears, 4 sturdy legs, a curly mane and finely formed body, but she has no eyes. There may be tiny eyebuds deep in her eye sockets, but no eyes.

She has eye lashes and eyelids, but no eyes. The medical term for this is anophthalmia (no eyes) or microphthalmia (eyebuds of various sizes), and it's very, very rare in horses.

Since she could never be a productive horse - or even be turned out in a strange paddock with other horses - the vet recommends that she be put down. Since this is my daughter's foal from my horse, it's a tough decision that has to be made soon.

Baby is only a few hours old in these pictures.

Sheba is her mom. She's got a bell on her halter to help baby find her in the stall.

Sneakers - 2006

Sneakers - 2006
The incredible Sneakypony!