Saturday, September 21, 2013

I'll Use My Lifeline

I've had a bit of a cold so have been curled up on my couch knitting yesterday and this morning.  I am taking a class through Craftsy called Mastering Lace Shawls, taught by Laura Nelkin.  I am a relatively self-taught knitter; I watched my grandmothers knit and crochet as a child but was never taught by them.  When I started knitting I had a general idea of how to create certain stitches. I then resorted to "How to Knit" books and a couple of friends that I met while taking the OHS Spinning Certificate program.  After rooming together for 8 days every summer for 6 years you can really pick up a lot of tips.  Today, however, I added the most valuable trick to my knitting toolbox.  After all the times that I have had to rip out and start again, why did no one ever teach me about the LIFELINE?

If you, like me, have never heard of a lifeline, this is what it is....

See that white strand of yarn through my knitting.  That is the lifeline.  Using a contrasting yarn and tapestry needle. thread the yarn through your stitches after finishing your purl row (edit: ws row). Cut your (lifeline) yarn larger than your work, keeping in mind that your work will be larger when blocking (right now my shawl looks horrible but when I stretch it out...beautiful!!!...I know there is hope once it is blocked). So....why the lifeline is important....

Well, somehow I messed up while tinking to get back to an error in my knitting.  On my last repeat, I had one too many stitches. I went back and fixed it then got back to the last repeat and was one stitch short (I knew I should have stopped the row before for a break!). Then I saw it...the dropped stitch and chaos following in its path. After "muttering" loudly for a while I then remembered that Laura gave us that lifeline.  I can easily pull my work back to that row and start again from there rather than risking dropping more stitches and losing everything.  

Ta-da...first I removed my needles from the messed up work (sorry about  the picture, it is just loosely draped over my knee). Then I picked up all my stitches along my lifeline (without removing the lifeline).  Once I closed my eyes was ready, I simply started winding my yarn back onto the ball, unraveling my work back to the lifeline holding my breath the entire time, completely confident that I would not lose all of my hard work. 

I am ready to knit again...after a cup of peppermint tea.  This time though...I'm adding a second lifeline up in that section where I messed up so I don't lose so much.

I would have appreciated knowing this on my last shawl...around the 5th time that I pulled it all out.  Now that I know this trick, I will forever be using it!

If you are interested in the Mastering Lace Shawls class, I do believe their 75% off sale ends tonight.  Laura is a fantastic instructor and she really takes the time to break down the steps to make it an enjoyable knitting experience.  I love that she knits along with you (and you can pause her because she is a much faster knitter than I am...I am now intrigued with Continental knitting!)

Pattern: Skywalker
Designer: Laura Nelkin
Yarn: Filisilk (70% Merino/30% Silk) made in Germany (my mom brought me 3 skeins from Electrictree Yarns in Kamloops, BC)
Needles: 4.5 mm Clover bamboo circular 

Happy Stitching

Friday, September 20, 2013

My First Giveaway WINNER!!!

Thank you to everyone who entered my first giveaway.  I loved reading your comments and hearing about your summer.  I love autumn and the changing colours about as much as I enjoy our family times at the beach or finding new places to visit.

Using the high-tech method of a bowl and little scraps of paper, 

I enlisted Flea to draw the lucky name...


"How lovely! Mum mum is visiting Nova Scotia and PEI as we speak. Great to see pics of things she is emailing me about!"  Cathy

This lovely "Beach Blanket" pattern from Lucy's Crab Shack collection AND 6 fat quarters from the beautiful Michael Miller Bella Butterflies and Blossoms collection will be heading your way.

I hope your mom had a lovely visit!

Wednesday, September 18, 2013

Baking Day

First off...don't forget about my ends tomorrow.  I have had a couple people mention that they have had difficulty leaving a comment.  I took off that verification thingy (because really...I have trouble even reading those myself).  If you do have trouble just email me personally via my profile email.  I've been trying to reply to everyone personally but yesterday I wasn't even focusing so I will try to catch up tonight and tomorrow.  I do appreciate everyone's wonderful comments and good luck to all those who have commented and signed up to follow my blog.

I had hoped to have more accomplished today but then I saw a post on FB about the tragic accident in Ottawa today.  I just had to stop everything that I was doing and process what I was seeing.  My first thought immediately went to my husband even knowing that the bus route he was using took him no where near where the accident happened.  I then thought of all of our friends and family that live in the Barrhaven area.  I've already heard from a friend who witnessed the aftermath and my heart goes out to her and everyone else involved.  My deepest thoughts and prayers to all.

Gluten free zucchini bread....finally gluten free success!!!
After a week and a half of our new schedule ... back to school, 7-9 hrs of dance, 1 hr of music (guitar & voice), and about 5 hrs of combined rehearsal time for Wizard of Oz ... I think we are doing pretty good (as so eloquently stated by my daughter who is sitting here reading over my shoulder).  This is before we have even started band rehearsals, Jazz Club, and Orffestra...I think I have a carpooling schedule worked out...fingers crossed!  She is right though.  We have been getting everywhere on time, the girls are staying on top of their homework, and I have been actually making it to my sewing room! AND I feel more relaxed than ever.  All this with daddy away since the second day of school...he has been working in Ottawa.  I will be so happy when I hear that front door open tomorrow night ( long as it is him and not some scary stranger).  The only flaw in our routine was me ending up sick yesterday...flat out on the couch, and our eating.  There wasn't enough time for them to eat and I have no idea why we even had food in our fridge.  Our eating choices on the go are rather limited...McDonald's, Subway, and Tim's (hmmm...I wonder why I am getting sick).  Enough is enough.  Looking at the schedule, I have re-declared Wednesday "Baking Day"!!!  So far, I have a big pot of Sausage & Kale Penne, Carrot, Ginger and Quinoa Soup, 16 mini GF zucchini bread (make that 15...I just saw my daughter walk by with one in her hand, there are 8 mini GF banana bread in the oven as I type, and plum bread mix waiting to go in.  I think that is pretty good for a start of meals and lunch snacks for the rest of the week...considering I'm sick.

Yum...the smell of banana bread!!
I think I need to clean my oven....

On the knitting front, I am almost done that beautiful linen stitch cowl and just signed up for the Craftsy Mastering Lace Shawls class with Laura Nelkin.  So far...loving it!  A lot of the stitches I knew already but it was nice to see that I did not teach myself how to knit incorrectly!!  I am just starting lesson 4 "Skywalker - Jedi Training" (Skywalker is the name of the shawl).  I am ready to pick up my needles!  Many of their classes are on sale right now so if you have been thinking about trying something new, it might be a good time to register.

In my sewing room, I have signed up to a participate in The Countdown To Christmas QAL hosted by Melia Mae Quilting and Better off Thread.  They have just started week 2...cutting the fabric so there is still plenty of time to join in on the fun.  I was going to get my fabric didn't quite work out so hopefully tomorrow or Friday.  See...I am already behind! lol

Better Off Thread
I have no idea how to get my little image to link back to the actual site.  If you click on Melia Mae Quilting or Better off Thread in my post, it will take you to the QAL information (and maybe someone can tell me how to link this little button back to them! thanks)

Saturday, September 14, 2013

On The Road

The title says it all ... this was my day in a nutshell and it isn't over yet.

Woke up first thing this and took my daughter to dance.  She helps with a pre-ballet/tap class and a returning ballet/tap class on Saturday morning for two hours.  Then I had to run home and pick up my other daughter so we could go purchase her supplies for her first year in Family Studies.  They are making "Ugly Creatures". Once we found what she needed (and I found a couple more pieces for my Christmas scrap quilt) we rushed to pick her sister back up from dance.  Wait...I'm not done yet...we headed back to Bedford and grabbed a quick lunch at Tim Horton's (why do I even have food in my fridge this week??).  After lunch we were off so we could all get our hair cut (my oldest got her hair chopped right was a shock but so cute.  I think she is torn.  Understandable considering she used to cry when I would trim an inch off her hair as a toddler...she thought she looked like a boy even with her hair still to her waist.).  We arrived home long enough for me to heat up two leftover tacos for them and now Flea is off to dance again for the next hour and a half.  Then I need to go back to pick her and her friend up.  I think I wore a path between Bedford and Tantallon today! I'm tired!!!

So grateful that I picked up some yarn and cowl pattern this week; I'm halfway finished.

Fleece Artist Big Blue
100% Blue Face Leicester Wool 112m/125g
Linen Stitch

Don't forget about my giveaway.  This giveaway closes Thursday, Sept 19th, 2013 at 11:59 pm and is open to all.

Wishing you a safe and productive weekend.

Friday, September 13, 2013

Catching Up ... and a Giveaway!!!!

I've been away from my computer for most of the summer.  Quality time with my daughters and visiting with my parents for the month of August was #1 on my To Do list.  I have to say ... mission accomplished.  We had a lovely summer together.  It included trips to the beach, PEI, staycationing around Nova Scotia, and games.  Did I have time for anything creative? ... nope!

Gabrielle is here now and the rain is coming down so a good time to catch up with things.

Here are some highlights of our holidays....with a giveaway at the very end of the post...

Step one...visit Cow's Ice Cream down by the harbour...
We have been to the Maritime Museum of the Atlantic quite a few times; however, this is the first time that the the chandlery of William Robertson and Sons has been open.  I discovered a love of knots and bumpers this trip and had a wonderful conversation with the interpreter about oakum.

We also discovered the Days of Sail room ... how have we constantly missed this room??

The Oven Natural Park
This was a first time visit for all of us and we LOVED it.  The scenery and hike is beautiful ... and the railings helped me get over the fear of falling from a cliff!

One of my first loves....old cemeteries (my poor girl's have been dragged through more cemeteries than I can count.  Their first playground was a cemetery next door to our first house.  It has paid off ...we could have spent hours here!)

The Old Burying Ground
I'm so happy that I finally had time to actually stop and look.  My dad is a cemetery lover too so I think this was a highlight of his trip to Nova Scotia. 

The Halifax Citadel

Another first ... My girls love this sort of stuff.  They love history and historic architecture.  They were so involved in their visit that my daughter asked to skip dance so we could stay longer and that NEVER happens!

First...a little view of the fog rolling in

Ummm....where are all my photos for the Citadel????  eek

Moving on and hopefully I will find them....

After a quick trip to PEI (photos to follow on another day...)

A day trip up to the valley to visit the Tangled Garden...
On the way, we came across this beautiful sight in Falmouth, NS

The Sunflower Maze

This is the only sunflower maze in Nova Scotia.  Located between exit 7 & 8, Dakeyne Farm is operated by Don and Annie Wilson.  The maze is family operated over 5 acres of their property.  According to the website, they operate until the last petal falls (the girl that I was speaking with said they would be open until mid-late September).  According to yesterdays Facebook post, Gabrielle may put a quick end to the season.  If you miss it this year then watch for it next year!!

(my daddy)

 When you finish your stroll through the maze grab a kite and head out to their open field to enjoy the stunning views.  After this little adventure, the girls were a bit more receptive to our desire to move to the country.  Suddenly Christmas wish lists changed and we now see "horse" and "cow" added.

Tangled Garden

My friend suggested this little trip to Wolfville.  I really wanted to take my parents to places that weren't the typical tourist stops and places to indulge mom in her love of gardens and food.  This definitely met those requirements.  If you stop in make sure to try the ice cream.  The girls loved the chocolate mint; I loved the lemon thyme.

I could go on and on; it was such a beautiful visit with my parents and now they are back in British Columbia and school is back in ... it is so quiet!  I've done a little sewing and made some blocks for We Bee Learning and We Bee Canadian.

On Wednesday, I started out for the grocery store but it was so beautiful out and after a really rough weekend and start to this week, my car decided to take me back to the valley and my car decided to pull into the parking lot at Avonport Discount Fabrics.

This little selection of fabrics decided to come home with me ... I'll link up to the designer where I have the information (I am in no way affiliated with any of the companies or designers listed below)
From left to right
  1. The black and white ... I wish I could tell you the collection.  Its beautiful.  
  2. The Blue Skies Collection by Sharon Holland Designs for Paintbrush Studio
  3. Owls and Presents from the Owl Hoot and Loot Collection by Alexander Henry
  4. Not sure of the collection ... I picked this up for my selection for this month's We Bee Learning block
  5. Blitzen by Basicgrey for Moda
  6. oh deer! by MoMo for Moda
  7. Nancy's Holiday Favorites by Nancy Halvorsen for Bernatex, LLC
  8. ladybug garden by doodlebug designs for Riley Blake Designs C3252
  9. Beatrice Weave by Michael Miller Fabrics LLC
  10. ladybug garden by doodlebug designs for Riley Blake Designs C3251
  11. Adventures With Alice from Robert Kaufman
  12. Rhyme Time by Annabelle Rose for Wilmington Prints
  13. Rooftop Garden for Moda
  14. "sebastian ghastly" by Alexander Henry
  15. White Kona Solid by Robert Kaufman
  16. In Front ... 8 cuts from the Happier Collection by Deena Rutter for Riley Blake Designs (and after the week that I have had, it really did make me happier!)
  17. Aurifil Mako'ne 50/2 2260
After a successful trip to the fabric store, my car decided to take me over to Gaspereau Valley Fibres (really...if you are in the area, you cannot go to one and not the other)

A set of Clover bamboo circular needles and a couple of skeins of Big Blue Hand Dyed 100% Blue Face Leicester Wool by Fleece Artist, decided to jump into my shopping bag.  I had stopped in just for the eye candy and inspiration but the sample for this cowl pattern jumped out at me.  I don't do a lot of knitting but when I do I really enjoy it.  The stitch used was something I had not seen before.  It is called a Linen Stitch and made the cowl look almost woven and it gave the cowl a beautiful soft hand.

The giveaway.....
Sooooo.....I never have giveaways ... I've thought about it but it just hasn't happened.  Today, with all the rain and dreary overcast skies I feel that today is the day that I need to share a little joy (because really...we all love a giveaway).  I don't have the fancy bells and whistles found on other blogs.  For this, we will be using the high tech "hat" and one of my daughters picking a name.  Make sure you leave a way for me to contact you to get your mailing info.

When I was on my little feel better road trip to the valley, these also came home with me for my stash but today, I would like to share a little.  (again, I am in no way affiliated with either company).  Today, I am giving away this lovely "Beach Blanket" pattern from Lucy's Crab Shack collection as we say goodbye to summer.(be sure to check out the Sweetwater blog) Finished size 48" x 65" AND 6 fat quarters from the beautiful Michael Miller Bella Butterflies and Blossoms collection.

What to do...
You have 3 chances...
  1. Leave a comment ... I love comments and meeting other people around the world.  Tell me what your favourite part of summer was.
  2. Follow me ... if you already follow me just tell me so
  3. Share on your blog/facebook ... I love finding new blogs and typically I have found them when someone else has shared. If you share, remember to tell me.
This giveaway will be open until Thursday, September 19th, 2013 (11:59 p.m.)
The winner will be contacted via email. I will mail outside of Canada.
Have a wonderful week!