Monday, January 26, 2009

Gung Hay Fat Choy

Or however you anglicize the Cantonese saying which means something like wishing you prosperity (which most of us need about now). Happy Lunar New Year – the Year of the Ox! I got my haircut, cleaned the house and swept the porch and put the broom safely away so I was all ready. We even got to see a lion dance at a local mall. Loud drumming and cymbal crashing scares away any evil spirits. With a Chinese population of around 30%, it’s impossible to ignore this holiday so the rest of us in the Vancouver area are learning to enjoy it too. I’d enjoy it more if it wasn’t so darn cold with snow threatening tomorrow. At least it’s lovely and sunny today.

So what have I been doing? Since the weather has been mostly sunny this weekend, we went for a walk on Saturday. We got back in time for my sister who came later in the afternoon to stay overnight and we had a lovely little visit. We don’t have a guest room but she was happy to stay on the pullout couch. I gave her lots of blankets and we kept the house temp up higher than we usually keep it so she wouldn’t freeze and she seemed quite comfy. We drove her to the airport yesterday for her flight back to Sandspit. Unfortunately she left some special groceries in our fridge and none of us noticed until it was too late. Now I need a recipe for tomatillos and asiago cheese (but not necessarily in the same dish)! Her family was happy to have her back home even without the goodies.

I did get a chance to do a little gardening yesterday afternoon which felt really good. Even though we still have some snow (mostly in the front yard) I managed to trim the dead pelargonium geraniums in my wall pots on the back porch and pull out all the dead plants from the deck pots which are currently residing in the greenhouse. Most of the pansies made it, though they aren’t flowering, but only two of my lovely flowering kales are still alive. And looking a bit peaked. I’m afraid to put the pots back out for fear that will just encourage more snow to stick. Oh well. I was starting to get enthusiastic about planting some seeds in my basement but am refraining for a few more weeks. At least I can dream, can’t I? There’s a lot of work to be done in the garden but first we have to find out what survived and what didn’t. The snowdrops are poking up already so all is not lost after what has been a pretty fierce winter for these parts.

I finished two projects:

The Coach’s Birthday Socks

Coach Socks

For: my baby brother-in-law
Begun: January 4, 2009
Completed: January 22, 2009

Yarn: Lana Grossa Meilenweit Mega Boots Stretch, 70% wool/23% polyamide/7% elité, 400m = 100g, colour 701 (blues/greys), dyelot 1174.
Needles: Addi Natura Bamboo 6” dpns, 2mm.
Pattern: Damselfly’s Standard Plain Sock Pattern. On 68 sts, 8” to heel flap, heel st, 8.25” to toe dec, dec to 24 sts, dog-ear reduction.

Comments: This yarn is impossible to make two matching socks so they are kissing cousins only. Nice and stretchy and soft and the colour will go well with faded blue jeans.


Kaffe’s Pool Gloves

Kaffes Pool Gloves

For: Nana (my MIL)
Begun: January 4, 2009
Completed: January 22, 2009

Yarn: Regia Design Line Kaffe Fassett, 75% wool/25% polyamide, 210m = 50g (leftovers and less than one complete ball), colour 4453 Exotic Pool dyelot 32634.
Needles: Clover Takumi bamboo 5” dpns, 2mm.
Pattern: Marnie MacLean’s “Hooray For Me” gloves pattern. On 58sts, cuffs 2.5” 1/1 rib, lowered baby finger 1/4”, finger lengths: index 2.75”, middle 3”, ring 2.75”, baby 2.25”, thumb 2”, finished fingers with 2 rnds k2tog.

Comments: I didn’t have quite enough leftovers from her socks to make more than one finger so I used scraps of leftover purple and green hand-dyed yarns for the rest. She has mostly green thumbs! The piecing left a LOT of ends to darn in and I hope they stay put. I used a trick from Lynne (Socklady) and used a coarse emery board to rough up the yarn ends which I hope will help.

In other news, I had to mend a hole in each of my Purple Elephant Slippers. Hopefully they’ll last somewhat longer now. I knit a few more rows on my Seaweed Shawl too but it doesn’t look any different. Sigh. I need to get working on my two exhibition shawls so it might get ignored even more. However, I’m going to have to start another pair of socks or go nuts without something simple to work on. I can’t decide which yarn to go with and for whom yet so I’m stumped for the moment.


Debbie said...

Wow! Those gloves are amazing. I hate doing thumbs in mittens so I can't even imagine knitting gloves. I'm so impressed with the way yours looks.

Anonymous said...

I love that you knit gloves! It just makes me happy to know that I know someone who makes gloves. :) And beautiful ones at that!

Kay-From the Back Yard said...

The gloves are beautiful, and I really like the plain socks. Have to get some of that color.

Louisa said...

If you had all heard the swearing that accompanied the knitting of the fingers! I was trying to make them look stripey and running out of the main yarn and making joins all over the place...yuck! There's enough joins in glove fingers as it is!! These ones are over the top.

Anonymous said...

We always swelter when we have relatives to visit. It's the sacrifice they never know you're making.