Thursday, May 29, 2008

Motherwell Homestead

Today Christopher's grade 3 class had a field trip to the Motherwell Homestead, a national historic site with Parks Canada. I went along as one of the parent chaperones. Although only its only 1 1/2 hour drive from Regina I had never been there before. It was a fascinating place! William Motherwell was a pioneer farmer, politician and activist. His home and farm have been preserved as it would have been in 1912. Even though the Motherwell family was extremely weathy compared to the majority of homesteaders on the prairie, the kids learnt a lot from their wonderful tour.

The barns even have animals. Here Christopher (in the red and white hat) checks out the new piglets.
The kids got to go on a wagon ride. Unfortunately, there wasn't enough room for the parents.

As we were waiting for the kids I couldn't resist asking our guide Colin to pose in front of the sheep with my sock. Even though he thought I was nuts he good naturedly agreed!

Just how does one explain the Yarn Harlot to non-knitters?

Tuesday, May 27, 2008

Picture Perfect!

I wish I could bottle up smells and post them on my blog. My back yard smells heavenly! We have 2 old and very large ornamental crab apple trees which are in full bloom.

This one is right outside both the back door and patio doors off the family room. As I am working just down the stairs from the open screen door I can smell the blooms.Of course, I am also living on a steady diet of antihistamines and allergy drugs, but it seems a small price to pay for such beauty that lasts such a short time.

Now if I could just get the rest of my yard work done. I still have bedding plants that need to be planted and the yard hasn't had its spring clean.

I've been busy making a few more lanyards for Anne in Nashville, this time for some of the doctors that she works with.

And my sock picture - another Opal (I like Opal, could you guess?), Elemente 1074.

Saturday, May 24, 2008

Saturday Tournament

If someone would have told me before I had children that I would be spending time ringside, cheering on my kids as they were kick boxing I would have told them they were nuts. I'm pretty passive by nature. Fighting was a dirty word to me. It never even crossed my mind that sparring, bouts, hook punch and flying kicks would become part of my everyday vocabulary. I always envisioned my children in dance and piano recitals. But I have become a convert and this is how I spent my Saturday... Yup, at ring side cheering on my kids as they kick boxed. Just one more example of how parenthood will totally change your priorities. That is 9 year old Christopher as he is waiting to start his very first kick boxing match. He lost, by the way. Just too passive by nature also. He is my son, after all.

And here is Katie, trying to stay awake before the early morning bow-in.

The kids were in an in-school tournament and competed in point sparring, weapons matches (another dirty word!), and since they are now old enough and of a high enough belt level, light kick boxing. Katie is actually very much a girly-girl, but still loves kempo. This is the kid that asked for numchuks for her 7th birthday. If they made them in pink she would have been in heaven!

I actually got some knitting done today! The kids had to wait over an hour after the bow-in until their matches started so at least I had the forethought to take along a sock I am knitting.

I finished this sock in the winter. It's Opal Petticoat 1291 and was the 3rd sock I ever finished. I like my socks bright and colourful!

Friday, May 16, 2008

Peace and Quiet At Last!

Dallas and the kids just went to Grandpa's cottage for the week end. I have so much to do around the house that I stayed home again. At least that is my story, and I am sticking to it! The garden hasn't even been dug, let alone planted. The whole house is a disaster area since I have been so busy with the Etsy shop.

I got a request to make a lanyard yesterday and I had a great time doing it. Bonus that it turned out great!I made it from the tie dye beads that are so popular for the row counters. And I also made a great new on line friend with Anne from Nashville.

This week Katie got her green belt in Kempo. It take approximately 1 year to get a new colour belt and this is the kid's 4th year. Christopher's green belt will be coming up shortly. They are always so proud when they pass the test for a new belt. And so are mom and dad.

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

The Case of the Chewed Up Birkenstock



VERDICT: Guilty as charged. The dog spit on the shoe gave him away.

Monday, May 12, 2008

Mondays are So Much Better When the Mailman Brings Knitting Stuff

I love it when the mailman brings good stuff!
The bag actually came last week. It is the cutest sock knitting bag that looks like sheet music on the outside. The inside is lined with a black fabric with white treble clefs. Cloth bags and I usually don't get along as I get them grubby almost immediately, but I couldn't resist this one. I got it from Stuck in Illinois on Etsy.

The sock yarn came from another Etsian and Ravelry member, Fritzl, or Ruth on Ravelry. I have loved her yarn from the first time I saw it so when I finally had a bit of money in my Paypal account I broke down and got some. I can't wait to start knitting with it!

Good thing I got another pair of socks off my needles this week end so that I can start a new pair. The Opal Zircus in pink is finally done. It took me for ever! Making the row counters for my own Etsy shop has been taking all of my time. I have never worked so hard for so little money. : )

Wednesday, May 7, 2008

A Trip to the RCMP Museum

Yesterday Katie's grade 1/2 class visited the new museum at the Royal Canadian Mounted Police Depot Division. One of Regina's claims to fame is that it is the home of the RCMP. All the cadets from across Canada come to Regina to train. The kids went through some basic training such as learning how to march and salute. They also got to dress up in a pint sized red serge and get their picture taken.

Monday, May 5, 2008

Back Home

Well, I missed a few days of the dog show on my blog. Partly because dog shows are really tiring and partly because the power supply for my lap top died while up in Saskatoon. I really didn't have anything to brag about anyway. It was a disappointing week end. Kai the sheltie only needs 3 more points to finish his championship, but we didn't manage to get them this week end. There were a lot of very nice shelties entered. He got some good hard looks, though.

This was Katie's first time in competitive junior handling. Last year being only 6 she was in the pee wee class which is non-competitive. Cute as all get out, though! Katie did really well considering she never had very much practice. Kai works really well for Katie. They make a good team.

Katie was the smallest one in her class. In the competive classes the kids are required to put the dogs that are normally "table dogs" up on the table so the judge can go ever them without having to bend right down to the ground. Being so tiny Katie isn't able to do so, but the judges for juniors are good about helping out and being very encouraging to the kids. You can see Katie barely able to keep her hand on the lead as judge Lori-Ann Fischer checks Kai's bite.

While she didn't place in her class, Katie had a great time and was thrilled with the loonie she won just for competing.

As for me, well, I consoled myself with a trip to a local yarn shop and bought my own consolation prise of a new ball of sock yarn.

Thursday, May 1, 2008

Dog Show - Day 0

Have knitting, will travel.
After years of travelling to dog shows, my sister Susan and I have learned how to pack light.

Kai and Bentley are bathed, brushed and ready to go play showdog. Road trip!

Necessity is the mother of invention. A show lead is holding the light around Susan's neck.

Pooped out and ready for the dog show tomorrow morning.

A Picture is Worth a Thousand Words

So I have been getting lots of people asking me how exactly my row counters work. So I took a picture.In the picture I am doing an Eye of Partridge heel on a pair of socks (Opal Zircus, see previous post). I am using my new Sockknitter's Row Counter and have taken off the excess chain so that I only have the 4 rings needed for the heel. My needle is on the first ring in the chain - so I am starting the first row of the 4 row pattern repeat. I have already completed 3 repeats of the pattern and can tell that by the little beaded circlet on the decade part of the counter being placed below the 3rd larger bead. So basically I have knit 12 rows of my socks - 3 times 4 rows.

Or to put it in the simplest terms - rings on the chain indicate single rows (in the photo my needle is through the first ring so I am on row 1). Each of the larger beads on the bottom part equal either 10 rows or a complete pattern repeat (in the photo I have moved the circlet below the 3rd bead so here I have completed 3 pattern repeats. If I had been using the complete chain with 10 rings then it would mean that I had finished 30 rows).
I would be lost without a counter for heels. I can't for the life of me see the difference between a row of slip, knit, slip and slip, slip, knit, slip.

I'm desperately trying to get packed up and off to a dog show today. But I keep getting distracted. Pack one pair of underwear - read 5 posts on Ravelry. Pack one pair of socks - read the blogs of 3 other people. Find one clean show lead - opps, I walked past my beading and have to string a few. Kai the sheltie almost has his championship so I am hoping that this will be the week end. Next week I should have lots of new pictures of dogs, knitting, and watching the other dogs while knitting.

At one show last summer my sister Susan and I had another person come up to us while we were exercising (a polite way of saying taking them outside so they can do their business) our dogs and tell us that she was never brave enough to knit at a dog show. Hopefully this year we can convert the show dog show world that knitting and showing go wonderfully together.
Katie at a fun match a few months ago winning Best Graduate in Match with a friend's Portuguese Water Dog.