30 June 2010

Crafts heading into the summer

Working at Digital Extremes has been very busy. We've been staying late most nights and because we drive home to stratford every night, we don't get home until fairly late. As a result, my frequency of finished objects has suffered, but that's ok, slow but steady wins the race right?

Uncharacteristic of me as well, I have multiple things in the works. Usually i like to give all of my attention to whatever I might be sewing, spinning, crocheting, weaving, knitting, stitching or cutting and work until i finish the craft. However, because of the limited time i have, and the combination of the summer and the stuffiness of my craft room, I've deviated from my usual habits and have a whole bunch of fun craftiness goin' on! :)

First on the list is this handspun i'm working on... I dyed this fibre at a dye workshop a couple of years ago, and never got to it unil now. It has a mix of bamboo throughout it, and since bamboo resists dye more than protein fibre, it sort of sparkles white after the fibre is dyed. I love it! I was spinning a whole lot of art yarn for a while, and it's nice to go back to laceweight. Most likely i'll be plying this with itself. I might try a 3ply navajo technique, or maybe just plain ol' two ply. We'll see what i feel like later on. It's been a nice spin so far though even though I haven't bought my dream wheel yet, my little trusty ashford traveler is doing a bang up job as per usual.

Secondly, after all the years i've been knitting, i have yet to make any socks. I avoid them mostly because i hate making two of something. Which doesn't make complete sense as i love making mittens, but hey.. everyone has their weird nonsensical reasons for something right? Anyway, I bought a toe up sock book, as toe ups really appeal to me, some super amazing and smooth addi turbos so i could use the magic loop technique. I hate double pointed needles because when i take my knitting somewhere, eventually the stitches work their way off, and i'm stuck trying to save them all from dropping. I chose the Norwegian sock pattern because i LOVE LOVE LOVE stranded colour work. I love it because of the effect of fair isle, but also because i knit continental, and somehow, having one yarn for each hand, makes the whole knitting experience more comfortable. In any case, i love it, and i love this pattern. The socks are turning out great, and i just turned the first heel. The one great thing about toe up, is you can gauge how much yarn you have left alot easier, so you just end the first sock when you're done half your yarn, and you KNOW the second will be the same length! so awesome.

I've also been workin' away at the quilt a bit. Oh man it's gonna be a long haul. It's SO stuffy upstairs in my craft room. But since after the piecing that i'll be doing, i'll be getting it long arm quilted by someone, i know it won't take a thousand years due to my slow, slow handquilting techniques.

It's also gardening, jamming and pickling season. This year being without my garden that I worked so hard for at my previous house, I'm really sad. However, I've put my efforts into some very creative container solutions and have a whole bunch of things growing. Missing are only my perennial things like comfrey, peppermint, lovage, thyme, lavender, rosemary, strawberries, raspberries, lemon balm, chard, etc etc, and some of the things that would've needed fall plantings like garlic and some onions. Also missing in action are large thigns like zuchhini. However, I have managed to have growing my favourte-est of edible plants.. lettuce, along with cucumbers, tomatos, peppers, lots of herbs and some green onions. I miss growing successive radish and carrots. I miss having a constant supply of anything i wanted just from my backyard. However, if this is only for this year, i guess i'm fine with that. Tonight I'll be making some rhubarb strawberry jam.... and hopefully soon some yummy dill pickles. I tried some chutneys last year which i'll be making more of in the coming month too. :)

3 June 2010

sad time

Dorothy Doolittle (1921-2010)

This last week has been quite a sad one. Last friday night my dad phoned and urged me to rush home to St. Catharines as my granny had fallen into a state which clearly was the beginning of the end. I drove home that night, and stayed the weekend at her side with all of my family. My sister flew home from bc, my uncle from florida and my cousin from halifax. The rest of us live local, so all rushed to see her. It was really really really tough, and i've never been so sad before. It was hard to watch someone on their way out. I mean, in a way it was nice in that she held on to see every one she loved, and got to see her younger sister, all of her children and grandchildren, and some of her closest friends. She wasn't suffering *too*badly, i guess it's all relative, as moving her every two hours to lie on the other side tired her out so badly. However, the last few years have been tiring for her, and i know she probably wished she could have gone out more, or seen us more. I got to tell her that I love her. I hope she heard. It was hard to see her struggle to even open one of her eyes. .Breathing took so much effort Monday morning came along, and i had to drive back up to london to work. I almost called in, but had planned to take wednesday off to come down again to spend another day with her. However, pretty much two hours later when i arrived to work, my mom called to say she had passed, after 4 and a half days of no water, food or medication. I am still upset i didn't stay until the end. I wish i could've been there to hold her hand with my mom. She died in the presence of my mother, my uncle and my cousin. I'm glad my mom and my uncle were there. I'm so glad she didn't go alone. I hope that at that moment, she knew how much everybody loved her and how much we all relied on her. Even just knowing she was there, always willing to support us and to be proud of us, was amazing. I think i'm old enough now to experience the sense of loss properly. I feel a little bit like some of my roots, or an anchor has been dislodged. She was so amazing.. and i am so sad that i'll never get to see her again.