Thursday, November 26, 2015

American Thanksgiving- a sale

Pumpkin colored Spire Smock from Knit Green-- available on Sale at Ravelry
As an American living in Canada (and a permanent resident here), today, Thursday, is just a regular day.  I mean, I know it's American Thanksgiving--happy Thanksgiving!  However, for us, we had Thanksgiving and a holiday in was awesome, thanks, and we are having an ordinary work day.

Well, ordinary besides having a sale.

Until the end of November, I'm offering 30% off all my patterns for sale on Ravelry.  This includes my eBook, Three Ply.  If you were wanting to send a knitter a gift, you might want to consider a Yarn Spinner Story+Pattern.  However, for a real deal, you'd buy Three Ply, because if you purchase it at this discount....all the patterns are 50% off.

There's a coupon code: Thanksgiving

Please, Enjoy!  Use it!  :)

A funny story or two about this odd North American holiday disconnect.

Recently, an American relative asked my professor husband what he would be doing on Thanksgiving, meaning ....Thursday.  He explained that he would be at work, likely at his desk or in his laboratory.  "But," the relative replied, sounding confused, "you always call me then!"

"Yes," says the absent minded professor.  "I use the phone on my desk."

(Did you laugh?!  Understated humor, indeed....)

Second story:
I visited with an American friend this morning who has lived in Canada for a long time.  Probably she moved here when I was in grade school, or something like that.  She had tea and apple crumble ready, and we 'celebrated' the day for a couple of hours by getting together.  She told me her husband felt desperately deprived without his "All-American" pumpkin pie, but she was offering him a heart-healthy apple crumble.

I explained that nobody in our family is in love with pumpkin, but that apple desserts were definitely a thing with us.

At the end of the visit, she handed me a treat to take home, and it was a pumpkin bread.  We laughed.  I traded her one pumpkin bread for most of the apple crumble.  I bet her husband will enjoy it!   We sure will eat the crumble for dessert....

Kid and Adult sized Basketweave Hat--on Sale on Ravelry
See?  Not so ordinary a day after all.  Homebaked dessert on a weeknight!?  Wow.

Say Hi or Happy Thursday in the comments, ok? :) Joanne

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Friday, November 20, 2015

Snow time and stash

It's here!  Snow time!  On Wednesday night, my twins were up half the night...which is not all that unusual, actually (yes, we still don't have good sleep, I am one tired Mommy) but the main excitement was the SNOW.  Yep.  We now have snow on the ground, and barring weird melting events, it is likely to stay there until April or so.  

This correlated with another exciting moment.  I have finished the first twin sweater of the season.  Each boy gets a new handknit sweater (from me or from their Didi --grandma--) each year, at minimum, and luckily, we are still fitting into most of our sweaters from last year.  However, this one was absolutely knit to order.  I used Rowan Felted Tweed dk, which I am not in love with, but all the "best" colors were on sale at the yarn shop this summer, so there you have it.  75% natural fibers (wool and alpaca) AND much softer than last year's Lett Lopi Icelandic wool, which I love, but which was pronounced too fuzzy and furry.  (they still wear it willingly on cold days, just with a long sleeve shirt with a collar underneath.)  I used a variation on this pullover because I have the pattern book and I did not want to design a whole new sweater from scratch!

Here are two photos of the sweater.  Due to the gray, windy, snowy day, I had to adjust the light in the images, even when I took them outside on the porch.  True color replications are nowhere to be found on a day like that!

When I announced that sweater #1 was finished, the other twin burst into tears because his sweater isn't ready yet.  He has ordered a chocolate brown with blue edging sweater, and depending on the moment, it will be a lightweight, heavyweight, henley, cardigan, pullover, with or without stripes. :)  Anyway, based on the gauge swatch, it will likely end up being something fairly similar to the one I just knit.

There are some special touches worth noting.  I've been spinning some chocolate brown wool while the boys play in the basement, and it is a great color, but the yarn is a bit too bulky for what I think this twin might need.  (He already has his fair share of heavyweight sweaters, regardless of style.)

So, I dug into the stash, and found this.  It's a brown handspun Shetland 2-ply, roughly 600-700 yards, that I spun on my Canadian Production Wheel.  I kind of knew where it was in the stash, and I used my blog search function to find out the yardage...cause I wrote about it in 2009.  Bingo.   I got the gauge wrong back then, or at least, I am going to knit it at a looser gauge now, on a #5 (3.75mm) needle...but when I found it, I found the perfect blue yarn to go with it.

Yup, I wrote a post that featured the perfect blue merino/silk contrast color in 2005.  There is something to be said for a deep stash!  I have sold or given away loads of yarn in the last 10 years, but these handspun skeins were saved and moved to Canada because who knew?  One day I would have a twin four year old who asked for this...

He stopped crying when I gave him his very own gauge swatch to race with...around the house.  (At first there was confusion over whether this was a watch, which both boys clearly wanted more than a gauge swatch, but whatever...)

I don't list my yarn stash on Ravelry (hey now, this is big.  It is nobody's business!), but I do have this blog.  This ten year old blog, where I've been talking yarn, and wool, and knitting, and spinning, and stories---for a good long time.  That is worth celebrating this month, as the blog turns ten.

Meanwhile, while I cherish these things I tucked away, I am also getting ready to give away a lot of woollies for our newcomers.  Manitoba is hosting 2,000 refugees, and they are coming soon!  I feel lucky to live among people who are opening their hearts and communities to those in need.  This article says it best....or maybe we could just open with We were strangers once, in the land of Egypt...?

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Friday, November 06, 2015

Cause gender parity is a great goal...

Here's my latest CBC article.
It's time to rethink how we judge work expectations, gender

 I'm also linking to a video (I know, I never do that) because it is so gorgeous...for those of us who believe in equality...  If you're not in Canada, you may not have heard from the new prime minister here, Justin Trudeau.  Check this out!
Because it's 2015

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Wednesday, November 04, 2015

Wovember's sale

Well, I think this month deserves celebrating.  Have you heard of Wovember?  Last year, I signed up to get little emails from this site that celebrates wool all throughout November. It sure made my month more fun, and I even managed to contribute a little.   There were fun songs, photos, and ideas that even my preschoolers enjoyed.

 So, this year, I decided to support the effort.  I wanted to have a pattern sale for the month....and I reflected.  What should be in the sale?  How about the things I've designed since last Wovember?
The Hole Inside Mitts,
Knitting for Mother Earth Cowl,
Riverbend Garden Hat and Over.

Wow, look at that--I knit every single one of them in 100% wool...and, I've done 5 designs in the last year!  All good.

So, here's the sale information.  Use the coupon code:
Wov2015 on Ravelry to purchase any of these patterns, and you'll receive 20% off in November. If you should want more than one of these?  Feel free to use that coupon more than once.

Happy Wool!  It's coming on towards winter here, and you'll be needing it!

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Monday, November 02, 2015

woolly weather and one 10 year anniversary

My article, Embrace Sweater Season with Local Wool, went live yesterday on the Manitoba's CBC online!  I am so pleased by this one, because it is a chance for my writing life and my fiber-arts one to merge.  Rare to have this overlap....when I started this blog, (ten years ago this month!)  I didn't realize how often my writing/storytelling exploits and my knitting/designing ones would diverge.
On to other news...this is a big month for the blog.  Ten years ago, at the end of November, I started this project.  I hope to do some celebrating towards the end of the month, but first, another big anniversary.

On November 1, 2005, we brought home Sally the dog from a rural shelter in Kentucky.  Yesterday, we celebrated Sally's 10th anniversary of her "coming home-forever" day.

Nothing much happened.  She got her usual walk, her normal number of cuddles, and it was peaceful and warm and safe in our house.   That is how it should be--a huge difference from when we first got her.  When the blog started, I wrote a lot of dog stories, particularly about Sally.  To read a whole mess of Sally stories, check out this search, which lists them in no particular order.  If you'd like to read how we got her, or the squirrel story, or Sally's special nurturing skills (two different posts!) or how Sally's foot got stuck--may this never happen to you-- well, it turns out I've written a lot about our girl.  In fact, there's a lot to say.  She has turned into a truly delightful and amazing family member.  Here's to many more years of celebrating our Pointer-mix, Sally, and her coming home-forever- day!

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Thursday, October 29, 2015

It's almost OVER.

The UNsale is almost over... October flew by so quickly!  Remember-- purchase any of my patterns by the end of October, and I will donate 20% to the Canadian Red Cross in its efforts to help refugees.

As part of the sale, I promised a new design--a pattern release...and here it is!  Over is now live!

I could say more, but you know what they say about pictures, so here they are...almost all from my photo shoot with a friend who modeled.  Enjoy!  Please check out Over before October's over.  Why's it called Over?  Oversized, over-the-head, summer's over, this fast project's over? That kind of thing.  :)

Last but not least, here are a couple of shots of us:  (and this is why I can't do the modelling, I seem to have a lot of help....)

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Wednesday, October 21, 2015

a winner! and more mitts...

Congratulations to Calypso Hope!  I used a random number generator and you have won! I will be in touch soon regarding how to send you your new Denise 2 Go needles.  Thanks to all who entered as part of my UNsale giveaway....I appreciate it.

And, before I forget, please remember that the UNsale continues through the end of October.  Purchase any of my Ravelry downloadable patterns and  I will donate 20% to help refugees through the Canadian Red Cross Refugee Crisis Appeal matching program. Thanks for helping me help others!

Now, to update you on the "winter is coming" knitting around here....I finished my second set of The Hole Inside Mitts.  About 5 minutes after they finished drying on the radiator, (I block them by hand washing, and leave them to dry on our old fashioned hot water radiators) somebody rushed to put them on.  It is getting nippy here, and some mornings hover around 0C. (freezing, around 32F).... So these mitts got put on quickly!  Soon we'll need to put on double mitts, but for now, we can enjoy our new ones solo!

I caught a few photos of them in action, though.  I hope to get the photos up on Ravelry sometime soon.  You may note that the mitten tops are different, as per the request of the four year old in question.  These are his color and style choices!

"Come on, MOMMY!  Hurry UP!  Let's go outside to play NOW!"
Note: I deleted the other images where his hands were a complete blur. We move fast around here. :)

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