Posts Tagged ‘Winter’

I love my job.  I love the people I work with.  I love the people I work for.  There really isn’t one thing about my job that I don’t love.  You see I work in theater.  My job is to supervise and assist our volunteers in making sure the patrons enter the theater and get to their seats quickly and safely.  I also have to address all customer complaints, seating issues, assist differently abled or disabled patrons to their seats and to make sure they have all their needs met, such as hearing assist devices, back rests or even just room for their wheelchair or scooter.  It’s a wonderful job and very rewarding.  It can also be very exhausting work.

This past weekend I was exceptionally busy and ended up pulling a 9hr. shift on Sat. and then a 4hr. shift yesterday.  These don’t seem like a lot of hours, and admittedly as far as jobs go I have it easy, but a lot of the time is spent running up and down stairs making sure that all entrances to the theater are operating properly, that the ushers have no issues and that I am available to address any customer questions or generally help in any way I can.  I describe my job as one part guidance counsellor, one part hostage negotiator and one part stand-up comedienne.  Humour is a wonderful thing for ensuring patrons enter the theater in a good mood.  It makes everyone’s lives easier.  So anyway, that is one of the reasons for my absence from this blog.

The other reason is Christmas presents.  I’ve been working on a few but mainly on one sweater.  It’s this one from The Knitter (one of my favourite magazines), issue #24.  In the magazine the smocking is highlighted by a contrasting yarn, in their case, a pink.  The version I’m knitting is in a cranberry colour and I intend to highlight the smocking with silver beading.  I’m also extending the rib above the last row of smocking to match that below.  I can deal with some things not being symmetrical but this isn’t one of them.  I’m hoping it will look alright because otherwise I’ll have to take it out and remove the ribbing detail below the smocking otherwise it will drive me crazy.  I can be a bit like Sheldon Cooper sometimes.  One other modification will be to knit the sleeves narrower to make them tighter to the arm.  I’m not a person who likes wide sleeves.  I have enough loose skin flapping around I don’t need a sweater adding to it, otherwise I might take off.

I’ve also been knitting on a cowl.  It’s in the Manos del Uruguay that I talked about here.  It’s just a simple seed stitch rectangle that I will add buttons to.  I think I like the buttoned cowl or neck warmer rather than the kind you pull over your head simply because my hair always looks untidy so I don’t think I need to help it along.  I don’t know why but no matter what I do I always end up looking like I’ve been pulled through a bush backwards, as my mother used to say.  Well, there was the time when I grew it longer but then I had to iron it everyday and that is just way too much work.  Even with smoothing creams and shampoos and relaxers my hair still seems to end up looking like thatch on a roof especially when there’s any moisture in the air.  I guess it doesn’t matter what style I knit it in since it’s not for me but I like to give people things I like but that I know they will like as well.  But I digress.

The cowl is moving along swimmingly because I’m knitting it on size 7mm needles.  I like the fabric I’m getting, it’s a little more dense than it would be if I used a larger needle but since it’s for winter wear, I don’t think that’s a bad thing.  The yarn itself is soft so it won’t be uncomfortable around the neck.  I like the way the variations of colour show up in the seed stitch, it’s almost like a little surprise and it keeps the knitting interesting.

I’ve also got three other things on the needles – one pair of socks, a sweater that I’m making out of some Pingouin Ruban which has been knocking around my stash for a few years now.  I thought I should probably do something with it otherwise it’s just going to languish there forever.  The sweater is a simple top down, buttonless, loose-fitting cardigan.  I’m hoping it will come out all drapey but it’s still too early to tell.  The other sweater still on the needles is the one I was making for a party last month.  Yes, I know but the front is done and blocked and the back is slowly progressing but since the urgency to have it done is gone, I’ve kind of put it on the back burner while I work on things that matter.  Poor thing but I promise it will get completed, when is unclear but it will get done.

So that is the story so far.  I should be able to make some good headway this week as I’m only working tomorrow night and then I’m off until Saturday.  Then I work the weekend and am off again until the following weekend.  That gives me 8-10 solid days of knitting to get it all done.  Piece of cake.  Hmm, I just may have to make one so I can eat it before I die of exhaustion.  I’ll try to get some pictures up this week now that I figured out how to do it.  Now back to the needles.

Day 8 – Winter is coming

Posted: November 8, 2013 in Uncategorized
Tags: , ,

It snowed today. Well, ok. It thought it was going to snow today and the clouds half-heartedly dropped a few flakes down as scouts to see if it was really worth the effort of producing a metric ton. Fortunately, Mother Nature decided to move on to other things. I’m glad she has a short attention span. I’m not ready for winter.

I have to confess that I mutter, and whine, and complain about winter. I really do hate the cold, mostly because I’m old and creaky and my joints let me know that they don’t like the cold. There are any number of ways they could choose to do it but mostly they just choose to ache. And if they are not actively aching they are thinking about it. In the mornings they like to let me know that they would prefer lazing around in bed, thank you very much, by refusing to bend. But because walking kind of depends on a bendy knee if I don’t want to look like Frankenstein’s bride, I force my will upon them which only makes them complain loudly and I walk around like an old lady until they reluctantly decide to comply.

But I also love winter. I love sitting all warm and cozy in the house with a hot cup of tea watching cars shivering by. I love looking out my front window and being dazzled by the sun on fresh snow. I love watching the birds at the feeder and the squirrels, by now little balls of fuzz, hopping around oblivious to the humans walking by bundled up in scarves and hats and puffy coats, their breath steaming in front of them. Sometimes I think the animals must look at us all wrapped up against the cold and think, “Amateurs!”

I love blizzards, not the aftermath, but when the snowflakes are rioting across the lawn and throwing themselves at the window. I love watching the gentle snowfalls when the flakes are as big as saucers, heavy and wet, muffling all the noises of living in the city. I love walking at night through the silence of a snowfall imagining what it was like for the first people who never had streetlights that cast a yellow glow over the falling snow. I love the faint hissing sound of snowflakes piling up on each other until they cover my boot tops, making me wish I had not tucked my pant legs in because when I get home there is going to be a little pile to clean up after. And actually, I love that too.

I love watching dogs go insane in the snow. I love them burying their noses in the cold stuff, watching a little pile collect on top of their little licorice nose, and then the snuffle as they shake their bodies. I used to love going to the stable first thing in the morning when my daughter worked there. The barn cozy with the warmth of the horses bodies and their whinnies of greeting when we opened the door.

I love winter because of all the possibilities available to wrap around myself. Because of all the woolly goodness of a handknit. Because of the comfort of a pair of handknit socks on feet that generally never feel warm. Because the feeling of wrapping myself in a handknit sweater never gets old. I love my handwarmers even though they are starting to look like moths have been at them. I love my alpaca-lined mittens because I didn’t need a pattern to make them and they are warmer than any store-bought pair I have ever owned. I love my felted slippers. And I love the idea that I can make more.

I recently found a pattern book that I had thought I had lost years ago in one of my many moves. It is an old Paton’s bazaar knitting book, oh not that the patterns are bazaar (even though in this day and age some people would look at you like you were some kind of weirdo if you showed them what you were knitting), just that they were meant as quick and easy knits to be sold at bazaars. I still love the poodle toilet roll cover. Not that I would ever make one but there is just something so kitchy about it. In the book is also a pattern for slippers. The slippers my Mum used to make us when we were small (and, Sue, if you are reading this you will know the ones I mean). They were like pixie slippers, or elf slippers. The cuff was pointy and curled ever so slightly over. I seem to remember having a pair of bright yellow and green ones. I think someone else had bright red and green. We had a pair every year.

I look at that pattern now and think about how many things my Mum made us when we were growing up. She sewed things on an old sewing machine from the ’40s. I think it was just shy of being a treadle machine and when I look at mine I wonder how I could ever survive without a built-in button holer. And my machine is over 20 yrs. old. I got it when I had my first child and since it still works well have never replaced it. She knit our mittens, our scarves and, I’m sure, our sweaters although I have no real memory of that. She subscribed to Stitchcraft and I can remember leafing through them and wondering at the various things that could be made by your own two hands. And I look at this slipper pattern and I think I’m going to adjust it to fit a pair of adult feet. Winter is coming and I’m going to need something warm in order to make it through.