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.

Sneakers - 2006

Sneakers - 2006
The incredible Sneakypony!