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Thursday, October 27, 2011

September in Photos

In this post I said that I had finished six items in September. Today I am posting photos of three of them. I can't post photos of the others as two are gifts so photos will have to wait until after Christmas and one of the items is a sleeveless top that I knitted for myself and someone needs to take photos of me wearing it; which isn't likely to happen any time soon and not because I don't wear it!

So for your viewing pleasure, photos of finished objects. Firstly socks. These were the mystery sock pattern for July which I cast on 1 July. The yarn was shown in this post. The yellow yarn had obvious colour changes and I thought the pair would look nicer if they matched so I found the same starting point in the colour sequence. I'm glad I did as I came across a knot in the yarn. Next time I do this I am going to start the yarn at the beginning of a colour run so that it is easier to find the same place in the yarn for the second sock.

The pattern is stranded colourwork. For the first sock I held one colour in each hand but for the second sock I decided to hold both yarns in my right hand which is the hand I usually hold yarn in. I was worried that I was stranding too tightly and must have overcompensated as the second sock was bigger. I didn't check properly until I had completed the heel and this is what happened.

I had to unpick to almost the cuff and start the pattern again. Another lesson learned. The designer is Stephanie van der Linden and this is the fourth of her designs that I have made.

Although I don't have photos of the top, I have a photo of the hat made from the leftover yarn. It is another Brooklyn Tweed pattern and a quick knit.

At the beginning of the year I was repaid in yarn instead of cash. The yarn was Merisoft Hand Painted Aran by Punta yarns in the same colour as these socks I made in August. As it had taken time to find a suitable pattern for the sock yarn, I decided to use the same rib pattern for a scarf. I worked 10 rows of moss stitch at each end as well as two stitches at each edge. As you can see this was just as hard to photograph as the socks.

I started two new projects in September. The September mystery socks and a neck warmer and I still have the slow projects.

Monday, October 24, 2011

In and Out of the Oven

My friend Sharon has moved to Edmonton but I can keep up with her crafty activities through her blog Nana's Button Jar.

A recent recipe caught my eye and as it was my turn to host bridge I decided to give it a go. Pink Lemonade Confetti Cupcakes. I love recipes that start with a box of cake mix. I bought a box of confetti cake mix and a jar of organic applesauce to cancel out all the bad stuff in the mix and decided that I had pink lemonade drink mix in my dye supplies.

Well I was wrong on that one, had regular lemonade Crystal Light only. I have no idea if they taste different so I did not add the lemon rind until I had tasted the mix in case it was overwhelmingly lemony, which it wasn't. But I did have this in my dye supplies so I was able to make pink cakes.

I added glace cherries to some of the cakes as well as sprinkles.

Hubby liked the lemon flavour but son thought they were too sweet. I wouldn't have said they were too sweet but have that sweet/bitter taste mix that lemon cakes often have. I wonder what these would be like with other drink mix flavours.

Friday, October 21, 2011

Penguins Protected by Sweaters

As is the delight of the internet I came across an article about penguins around New Zealand affected by the latest shipping disaster. The penguins are covered in oil and need a covering to stop them ingesting the oil. The ideal covering - a woolly jumper. And what does New Zealand have in abundance - sheep.

Here are a couple of links so that you can see penguins wearing sweaters.

This is my favourite photo. It is all over the internet so I am unable to credit the original source.

These are not sick penguins but penguin models. Because if the top models are wearing them then ordinary penguins will be clamouring for their own. But the poor guy (girl?) in the orange sweater. You know what he is thinking - "why does Aunt Jane always think I will grow into her knitted sweaters?"

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

99 More Canadians

Last month my son and I along with 97 other immigrants became Canadian citizens. We moved to Calgary over 5 years ago and as son has stated that he wants to remain here we decided that being a citizen would be a good idea. By applying before he was 18 the fee was lower and he didn’t have to take the citizenship test – I did that for both of us.

The ceremony was an informal formality presided over by a federal judge. She spoke at length about what it means to be a Canadian citizen and then we took the oath. As this was a federal government event the oath had to be said in French as well as English. It was a shame that the judge had not been coached in how to speak this little bit of French. Her pronunciation was atrocious and exactly how North Americans are portrayed in movies. Although this was a federal government event she did not attempt to say anything else in French. After the oath, we were presented with our citizenship certificates and a member of the armed forces presented each of us with a maple leaf pin. Before singing the National Anthem the judge read the list of 30 countries represented that day. Although it was really 29 as England and Scotland were listed separately. The largest population was from China with India close behind and then Philippines.

What does it mean now I am Canadian? I have the right to remain in Canada and I can vote. Although as we now have a majority Federal government it will be a while before I can vote at that level.

But what does it really mean to be a Canadian? Or any nationality for that matter. I was born in the UK but haven’t lived there for 15 years. I come across people who haven’t lived in the UK for 40 years and on meeting me say: “it’s still home”. Well, actually, it’s not. That implies that where you are currently living is temporary and maybe some harbour the wish to return to the land of their birth. Perhaps by thinking of their current home as temporary they can settle easier. I have found that Australians refer to Australia as home. But the ones I have met definitely feel their time overseas is temporary and they will return home to Australia.

It is not home but I am definitely shaped by my British upbringing certain aspects of which are so natural that I have to be careful around North Americans. The British sense of humour for example. Irony, sarcasm and self-deprecation are a big feature of British humour and I have learned to tamp it down especially when meeting new people or when talking to another Brit in a mixed group.

So what does it mean to be a particular nationality? Are Canadians polite? Do British people have bad teeth? Are Americans full of themselves? Yes, yes, yes, or no, no, no. These are all generalizations of course and the answer will depend on who you meet and what you are like. But one of the funniest segments showing the difference between Canadians and Americans is an episode of How I Met Your Mother – Duel Citizenship.

So how can you tell that son and I are embracing the Canadian way? Son dutifully adds eh to the end of most of his sentences but my loyalty goes deeper – Battle of the Blades is my favourite show

Friday, October 7, 2011

What Happened in September

So that my posts are not one month apart, I'm throwing a quick one in here. I am behind on taking and uploading photos so a photo-less post but I did finish 6 items in September (plus a crocheted square for charity) and only one of those was a pair of socks. And three of them I started in September - easy knits. I also cast on the mystery sock pattern for September but they are not quite finished and a neck warmer that I have finished knitting but needs buttons.

Overall I feel that I had a productive September.