Thursday, November 26, 2015

Thanks for the Suggestion

I knit in public all the time. I am not good at waiting, so taking my knitting with me helps keep me calm and makes the time pass. I have knit the foot of a sock, in a doctors waiting room, while others are ready to start a riot, because the doctor is running so late. I knit at meetings, because it helps me censor my thoughts, before they come out of my mouth. I knit when I am a passenger in a car, train, plane. I knit at parties, which oddly makes me more interesting.  Afterwards I have something beautiful and useful to give away or keep for myself.

Because I knit, people think that I must have a lot of spare time. Obviously, if I have time to knit, I don't have any other life. Never mind that we are all together doing the same waiting, but because I am doing something useful with my wait, I need more things to do.

So, they make suggestions. Did I see that article in the paper, where the group needs neck warmers for giraffes? I should make some of those, because I can knit, and the speaker is really into helping giraffes. They don't plan to do anything themselves except point out to me that this is something that would make them feel better.

Alternately, they ask if I will make one of the item I am knitting for them. They say they will pay me. I tell them they can't afford it. Even knitting in waiting rooms and the like, it still takes about 3 weeks to make a pair of socks. Yarn is expensive, so is my time.

I am not a selfish knitter. I regularly knit for causes that is important to me.

I seem to be on a charity hat kick, this year.

I also make gifts for Christmas, birthdays, new babies, etc. I think I have project plans for many months ahead.

I am glad that you would like to support a cause. If you would like to learn to knit, so you can make that neckwarmer, I am happy to help.

However, I get to decide how I will use my time, and my other resources. I really don't need any suggestions from strangers.
BTW if knitting neckwarmers for giraffes is a real thing, I hope I didn't offend the giraffes.

Tuesday, November 24, 2015


With Christmas just a month away, I have had a week of starts.

I pieced together some fabric scraps, as the start to a bag. I will cut the bag out next.

I started a sock (but the lighting wasn't good).

I started a hat.

The youth minister at church asked me to hem this tree skirt for the Sunday School tree.

I bought more hardware for wristlet bags.

Now the question is, can I get it all done in a month? We will have to see.

I am told there hasn't been a kitten update, lately. If you aren't a cat fan, you can stop here.

Angus is helping himself to a can of cat food. I guess he wasn't fond of the kind that was already down. I will worry if he figures out how to get the can open.

Fergus, just chilling.

Hamish and Angus, discussing whose turn it is to play in the box.

They are so much bigger then when they arrived. I expect they are going to make some families very happy this Christmas. They will be leaving me, soon.

Wednesday, November 18, 2015


On Monday, at my quilting group, the other ladies were playing the "What is It?" game, with my knitting project.

I think it should be obvious.

Yoga socks, made for a special friend.

For the last couple of years, a group of friends have gotten together to practice yoga, on Wednesday afternoon. In the summer, we meet in the park, and in the winter, in the community room of a local housing co-op. Our leader, Lucy, is leaving us, to move to a new community. So, I made her socks, with my warm wishes knit in.

In yoga, the heel and ball of the foot need to contact the mat, for stability. So the socks warm the ankles and the arches. I make them in a lace pattern, so it can accomodate most ankles and feet. The yarn is a fancy, antimicrobial fiber, mixed with cotton and wool.

And I polished my nails, in a suitable colour, for the "photo shoot".

Since I am a bag lady, the socks will be wrapped in a brick bag, that I made in the summer. I realized, when I opened it, that the lining matches the socks. It will look like I planned it!

The card has a picture, drawn by my friend Cheryl. She gave me permission to use it on the card.

Namaste, Lucy. Go in Peace.

Wednesday, November 11, 2015

Animals in War

As you may be aware, here at Arts and Socks, animals play an important roll. Over the years there have been 156 foster cats and 4 of our own dogs, leaving their paw prints on our hearts.

This morning, we were watching the Remembrance Day Ceremony from the National War Memorial, and Dolly asked if there was a war memorial for the animals.

So, we checked with Google and found out that there is not one, but two National Memorials to animals that served in war.

The first is in the Peace Tower in the Parliament Buildings.

It is a tympanum. In architecture, a tympanum  is the semi-circular or triangular decorative wall surface over an entrance, bounded by a lintel and arch. It often contains sculpture or other imagery or ornaments.

This one is over the door to the Memorial Chamber, where the Books of Remembrance are kept.
More information can be found here.

The other is in Confederation Park, near the National War Memorial.

More information about it is here.

We also found out about the Dickin Medal.

It has been given 65 times, since 1943, for outstanding acts of bravery or devotion by animals while serving in military conflict. It has been awarded to 32 pigeons, 29 dogs, 3 horses and 1 cat. As well, in 2014, an honourary Dickin Medal was given to Warrior, a Canadian horse, representing all the animals who served in World War I. Warrior was the horse in the play and movie "War Horse".

Dolly says she is glad that she could remember the animals. Perhaps we will go visit the Memorial in Confederation Park. She would like that. I think I would, too.

Monday, November 9, 2015

Because Boring Socks Are Not An Option

Winter around here is about 4 months too long. Since we have snow from November to April, usually, winter wears out its welcome in about mid-January. The best way to cope, I think, is bright accessories.

These are my new boot socks.

The yarn is by TurtlePurl, in New Brunswick, and the colourway is Angry Birds. I knit them in a sort of spiral rib, K6 YO K2Tog. It makes an interesting pattern in the striped yarn.

The socks are suppose to be identical twins, because of the way the yarn is dyed. They look pretty good.

However, I forgot to take notes, when making the first sock and I seem to be off by about one round.

Which ends up as 3 rounds at the tip of the sock. Whoops.

They are lovely warm socks (despite the eyelets). I took the pictures and then had to take them off.  On this lovely fall day, they got too warm within 5 minutes of putting them on.

I think I have enough yarn left over to make another pair, by adding some solid black yarn.

Friday, November 6, 2015

My Retreat Projects

I saved my projects for a separate post, since one was a present, and I didn't want it seen until I gave it to the recepient.

First is the Gerbera Bag from Blue Calla Patterns. 

It is a nice sized wrist bag, with a lot of details I don't normally expect from a free pattern.

Here is a closer shot, taken after a final press (at home) and with some bag bling attached.

I also made a little cat pouch. Cheryl challenged me, quite awhile ago, to try making a pattern for this and make the pouch.

It's not bad, but the pattern still needs a bit of work. I have added a carabiner to the loop on the side, so I can hang it from my knitting bag handle, to hold the little things that get lost in the bottom.

Cheryl, the over achiever, showed her perfect pouches, here.

And, speaking of purrfect:

Hamish, and Fergus, napping.

Thursday, November 5, 2015

A Halloween Re-Treat

I spent Halloween at a retreat with 11 other friendly ladies. There were lots of laughs, lots of sewing, and lots of stories.

I think some pictures tell it all.

Kathryn's Bowties, made from her Dad's ties.

Lynn and Joan, with their matching wall hangings.

Doreen, with her wall hanging.

Anita's tablerunner.

And her matching wall hanging.

I lost track of who made this one. Finishes were coming fast and furious by Saturday afternoon.
Judy's bright lap quilt.

Margaret's Work-in-Progress

Another one by Doreen.

There were lots of others, but I managed to miss photographing them.
Thanks, Ladies, it was lots of fun.