29 October 2006

Culmination ...

Busy, busy. Errands and spending time with Barbara and Anailese on days when Corbin's there all day. Mom, Dad, Mary and I went to the art gallery on Tuesday, to see an exhibit of baroque masterworks. On Wednesday, I got to go with Dad and some of his Kiwanis folks to read books to preschool kids at the Norwood Head Start progam. Afterwards, we sat in wee chairs at wee tables and had snacks (that we took with us) with the kids. It was great fun, and the kids keep the books. For some of them, it's the first book of their very own. Brandon and Nina and I had dinner together and watched a movie ... well, kinda. Nina mostly texted on her phone while the movie was on.

I made something out of rayon ages and ages ago. I braided a leftover bit and tossed in in a dye bath with something else I had going, then in the wash. I ended up with a soft, drapey, slightly fuzzy braid. It's sat on my bedroom bookshelf for years because I wasn't quite finished with it.

Soon, the world will drown in T-shirts ... work T-shirts, play T-shirts, T-shirts with clever sayings, promotional T-shirts, T-shirts as uniforms. Ubiquity, thy name is T-shirt. What's to be done about it? I had an idea.

I bought a very pretty tie-dyed rayon dress and wore it when I went to Patty and Jaime's wedding with Pat. Every time I saw the dress in the closet, it would bring back a flood of memories. I wasn't ever going to wear it again, but I couldn't give it away.

These three things were rattling around in different rooms in my mind. One day, they all met in the hallway on the way to the bathroom and, as ideas are wont to do, got all tangled up and sidetracked me from whatever it was I was meaning to do. Zzzzzp, zzzzzp on the serger, shk, shk, shk, shk with the rotary cutter, and I had a grapefruit-sized ball of tie-dyed yarn.

I knit it up.

There wasn't enough of it.

I had a couple of silk shirts that were lovely in the eighties and in which I wouldn't now be caught dead. They got zzzzped and shked and wound into balls, too. They made much smaller balls.

I cut up another piece of rayon I had lying around and swatched some of it with some of the silk, washed it, and determined that the resulting fabric doesn't shrink appreciably once knit up, and that the silk knits up a much smaller gauge than the rayon.

So I knit the hat again, using some of the silk, doubled, when I ran out of rayon.

I didn't like the crown. For reasons I don't now recall, I undid the entire hat, instead of just the crown, and reknit the whole thing, from the top down.

I still didn't like the crown, so I reknit it from the bottom up again.


Just in time, too! This is outside, this morning:

There was enough yesterday to require shovelling. After I'm done with this, I'll go shovel again. It's still snowing.

On an entirely different note, my house was infested with tipsy faeries on Friday night:

Stuff and Nonsense ...

Length of day: 9:41
Hours of dark: 12:00ish
Sunrise: 7:27 am
Sunset: 5:08 pm
Start of twilight: 6:51 am
End of twilight: 5:45 pm

Current weather: Overcast, light snow showers. -8°C (17°F), -16°C (3°F) with windchill, wind N 20.8 km/h (13 mph), relative humidity 85%, pressure 30.01 in Hg.

Today.. Cloudy with 60% chance of flurries, wind NW 20 km/h. High -8°C.
Tonight.. Cloudy, 30% chance of flurries this evening. Low -12°C.
Monday.. A mix of sun and cloud, High -4°C.
Tuesday.. Cloudy. Low -10°C. High -3°C.
Wednesday.. Sunny. Low -10°C. High -5°C.
Thursday.. Sunny. Low -14°C. High -5°C.
Normals for the period.. Low -6°C. High 5°C.

19 October 2006

Crow Is Smart ...

Really smart.

16 October 2006

Snow and Blankets ...

Yup, there was a covering of snow on the ground, this morning. On the back lawn, there's a circle of fallen leaves under the Mountain Ash ... there was a ring of green grass, about 10cm wide around it, then white all around that. Very pretty! It's all melted, now, but it's still (barely) snowing.

I've been knitting and dropping off squares for Blankets for Canada for about three years, thinking I'd drop in to one of their work bees (held the second Saturday of each month, quite close by) one of these days.

October is the eighth anniversary of Blankets for Canada, and Saturday was the Edmonton Chapter's open house, so I went. I had visions of a bunch of folks sitting about in a dingy church basement, knitting, crocheting, and joining squares, probably drinking awful coffee urn coffee and yacking.

I was met at the door by the Edmonton Chapter Leader and taken upstairs, to a big, bright work room, where a couple of women (Shelly was one of them) were knitting, one was crocheting squares together, a couple more were talking to others who'd dropped in, and several were hovering about a couple of big work tables, hands flying about, doing something mysterious. Eileen took me for a tour, showing me the one hundred thirty-some blankets that were going out that day (more than usual, as it was the anniversary, she said, usually more like eighty to one hundred each month ... whoosh!) ... and the room full of bags of sorted squares awaiting joining, shelves of sorted and measured and tagged fabrics ... more shelves of fabric awaiting cutting for quilt tops ... batting, craft supplies, sewing machines, bins of yarn, boxes of unsorted stuff, etc. ... and the classroom next to it, where fabric was being measured and tagged and cut ... and the church's storage room, half of which was full of more fabric and sewing machines ... then back to the work room, where she showed me some of the blankets and quilts and quilt tops (waiting to be made into quilts that very day). The next thing I knew, I was helping a couple of women (who come in all the way from Legal for these work days and work on stuff for Blankets at home as well) pin quilts together (The quilts are assembled from a top, a piece of fabric from the shelves that's about the right size for the back, and a flannelette sheet or other piece of fabric in the middle. There were so many quilt tops to be made into quilts ... one of the Communities in Bloom groups made quilt tops for Blankets over the past year - something like 120 of them, 101 of which were made by one woman!) for the president of Blankets to take home to machine quilt ... this is the mysterious activity that was going on at the big work tables. This wasn't what I'd imagined at all! I'm sure I took in only a small fraction of all the information that was tossed at me and of everything that was going on around me. What a busy, dedicated bunch of people!

I'll go back again next month ... and take my camera. In the meantime, look at a few pictures on Edmonton Chapter's photos page. I'm going to go to the yarn store in Ft. Saskatchewan next Saturday, to help join some squares, I think.

One needn't have the first clue how to knit, crochet, quilt or sew to be able to help out at these things. I'm told there are about a dozen or so who turn up most times, and another half-dozen who come sometimes, and that there's room for another twenty before folx'd even have to start watching their elbows.

Know anyone who's interested? The Edmonton Chapter meets at the Avonmore Community of Christ church just off Argyll, on the second Saturday of each month. There are chapters all over the country, as well as plenty of yarn stores that collect squares for them.
Live south of the 49th and want to help? You can send squares to either Blankets for Canada or Warm Up America. Michael's collects squares for Blankets in Canada and Warm Up America in the U.S.

11 October 2006

Happy Harvest Celebration ...

Past the equinox, not quite Samhain, Thanksgiving in Canada ... Happy Whatever Autumn Festival you choose to celebrate.

I stopped at Mary's on the way to the lake on Sunday, to see Linda's new room in all its green glory and to drop off the bed lifters I ordered, then Cory and I headed to the lake to hang out with Mom and her sister and help get dinner ready. Robin, Ernie, Linda, Mary, Dad and my uncle were all there for dinner, as well. It was very nice. While Mona, Pete, Rose and Cassandra were not in the same physical location as the rest of us, I know they were together, safe, and enjoying a much deserved holiday away in a lovely location.

On Monday, Nina went for breakfast to celebrate her Grammie and Grampie's anniversary with Patty and Jaime and the girls. Patty, Jaime and the girls, Nina, Barbara, Miles and Annailese and I all converged on Chelsea and Darwin's afterwards. Darwin, Miles and Jaime shovelled and spread mulch and put up a little playground climby, swingy fort thing for Bernie. We had a fire and watched the kids roar around a chalked racetrack on the driveway on their bikes. Barbara made a wonderful Thanksgiving dinner. We dragged the kitchen table into the dining room and set the two tables as one so we could all sit together. T'was grand!

Nina and I did a bunch of running around, today, getting her finances in some semblance of order, so she can focus and not feel so out of control. Then we went for sushi!

I have, as always, so very much for which to be thankful. I've a wealth of family and friends ... I'm surrounded by amazing, gifted, loving people. I live in a world of possibility, of plently. I know that not everyone does. So while this time of year is the time to reflect on harvest, bounty, and thankfulness, I also think of it as a day to consider what I can do to help make it so for everyone.