Like Spring, Fall is a season of new beginnings. At least, I believe it can be. As my veggie garden erupts with the last harvest, and the hydrangea and sedum bloom, I feel like a new chapter awaits. School has recommenced (and it's a heavy workload for me this semester), and the knitting season is in full swing. My writing group starts up tonight and the cottage reno switches it act to the inside (soon).
Speaking of knitting, I can either finish my baby booties design or make myself a hat for dog walks with Shaq. I can either finish Beowulf today or work on my play for Playwriting class. So what to do?
My knitting bag seems to scream the loudest.
And so it begins...
What's on your Fall to-do list?
It's a day of juggling writing. My day starts with coffee and a couple (or so) of hours writing/editing fiction in the morning. After a late breakfast (10-10:30), I walk Shaq, my lab mix (who tends to nap half the morning away) to clear my head for school work. This semester (working on an English degree and Certificate of Academic Writing), I'm only taking 2 courses (Selected Women Writer II and Writing in Academic Contexts) as I've finished editing my second novel and hope to get it out to agents this month.
Dog-walking these days involves facing the elements of a bad Canadian winter, and does well to both distract me from work and focuses my attention on surviving the cold, if only for a short while. Today I walk nervously as last week, coyotes killed a neighborhood dog. I see coyotes daily as their den is across the creek that runs behind our property. Three times I've faced a coyote while walking Shaq. Twice I've been able to avoid them, but the last time when we were almost home, the coyote stood in the middle of my street, like it was a Western showdown. Shaq must have been distracted by a squirrel not to see him and when I waved my arms around hollering, Shaq thought I wanted to play. He usually barks at them at the back fence, so a new higher fence is needed...soon. Coyotes, I've recently learned, can climb chain link. My acting like a crazy woman worked; the coyote ran off and we ran to the house.
I love watching the coyotes play or hunt from the safety of our living room window--so does Shaq--but when dogs are attacked, I find myself avoiding the creek altogether and walk Shaq in the opposite direction. They say coyotes don't go for large dogs, but that's not true. In a local large city park, coyotes attacked two large dogs a year ago while the dog owner walked them on-leash. The coyotes cost this dog-owner $1700 in vet fees after attacking one of her dog's hinds. If you're interested to read more, click here for the Mississauga new link and story by Louie Rosella.
Today, I had no coyote sightings during our walk, but will stay vigilant and be my dog's watchdog.
My friends at YarnCanada.ca are doing good things. Please visit them at www.yarncanada.ca/for-good
Here's their post...
We're Giving Yarn to Your Good Cause. We know so many wonderful people knit and crochet for good causes we’d love to hear your stories and help out!
We’ll be choosing 12 individuals and groups to get a total of $2000 worth of yarn to use towards their projects.
Since we get requests from all over and we’d like to do something nice for our neighbours so this is open to Canadians and Americans.
Here’s the yarn we’ll be giving away:
1 x $500 of yarn to a Canadian group who knits or crochets for a good cause
1 x $500 of yarn to an American group who knits or crochets for a good cause
10 x $100 of yarn to Canadian or American individuals or groups who knit or crochet for a good cause
All you need to do to apply is fill out the form below and tell us your story. What will you use the yarn for, what impact has this or previous projects had, and anything else important to your story.
If you have any photos we’d love to see them too.
Submissions close December 15th and our staff will work together to select the recipients of the yarn by January 20th.
After family tragedies, two frozen shoulders (separate occasions) and 3 moves (yes, I'm a sucker for punishment) and a forefinger surgery that left it deformed (try knitting with that), I'm back! I've picked up my Nine Months of Knitting: Great Expectations project. The Heirloom shawl construction you've read in previous posts has now been completed.
The Heirloom Shawl was inspired by a shawl knit by my Aunty Avril for my baptism in Scottish Shetland lace wool; a delicate shawl that has become an heirloom in our family. This is a different design, but my version of a baptism shawl for baby or a work of art to wear on your shoulders on chilly days and evenings. Done up in the delicious Handmaiden Maidenhair, baby and adult will find it soft, soft, soft My knitter Joan Kass suggested we encourage a find your fade shade for this project. I’d love to see your photos on Ravelry where you can purchase the pattern for $8!
The kind folks at YarnCanada.ca are putting on a contest to warm feet. Below is their press release for those who want to change lives (and theirs) with knitting socks!
Win Socks for Life! Well the yarn, you’re on your own after that.
(Vancouver, BC) “To be fair, it’s actually only a 25 year supply, so we can only hope the winner dies early to keep me an honest woman.” - Nikki Smith, VP YarnCanada.ca
After extensive research YarnCanada.ca discovered two key issues which continue to plague the world which we’d like to help bring to an end.
Don’t want to use all the yarn to make socks? That’s okay, no hard feelings.
Yes, some marriages may end as the winner ignores her husband in a multi-year knitting frenzy. But that’s simply a risk we must take. On the other hand, maybe getting non-terrible socks for Christmas could bring families closer together.
The prize will go to whomever can show how their life will most be changed by winning and what you will do with the prize.
Anything could happen:
“I’ll use the yarn to start a knitting business on Etsy!” - Beth C, Winnipeg
“My friends always get together to watch The Bachelor, but goodness it’s boring, now I’ll have something to do to keep me distracted.” - Janet G, Toronto
“Honestly I have no self control. With all that yarn I’ll knit non-stop, stay up for days and miss work. I’ll get fired, not be able to pay rent and get kicked out of my apartment. But… I’d have so many socks!” - Samantha T, Vancouver
“I’ll knit them all up as fast as I can and give them to charity.” – Nicole
Whatever the reason, let us know why knitting is important to you and how a lifetime supply of sock yarn would change your life.
Enter to Win a Lifetime Supply of Socks
A few weeks ago, I was contacted by YarnCanada.ca to review Red Heart's Heart & Sole (catchy name) sock yarn. I've been busy studying for an English degree, finished a 2nd novel, trying to get first novel polished and published AND trying to get my heirloom shawl pattern finished and up on Ravelry. So you'd think I'd decline the invite to review, right?
Ask any knitter or designer if they'd turn down the opportunity to test drive a yarn and they'd likely say yes too. plus, I figure I could squeeze in knitting a sock.
When a cute little box arrived with 4 balls of yarn, I went to the library and found "Sock Knitting Master Class" by the amazing Ann Budd. In it, was the lovely Pussy Willow Stocking by Cat Bordhi:
I began knitting with Heart & Sole and was surprised by its softness (73% wool/27% nylon). I don't usually like to knit with super fine yarn, and I probably should have picked an easier sock to knit. I began by knitting a moccasin toe with two circular needles. Master Class indeed!
Small beginnings. Well, I got busy again; papers due, editing workshop, my birthday, and all this with an underlying pinched sciatic nerve problem (from Labour Day weekend!). So my sock knitting is slow, very interesting, but S-L-O-W!
But I have to say, the yarn is beautiful and I can so see it looking fab in Cat's Pussy Willow pattern. Like anyone who wears or knits wool socks, I love the warmth, but also they have to be comfortable. I'm not finished yet, but now the cold weather is coming, I feel inspired to knit. So I'll post the finished sock in time. Please be patient with me. Thank you to Cat for the challenging pattern and thank you Tiffany for the invitation to try this great sock yarn! I love the colour "Skyscraper" and, Sock Knitters, if you want to buy the yarn, check out YarnCanada.ca where you can buy a ball for $6.55 and orders over $35 are with free shipping!
Had a blast at OWC, with zero sleep the night before, but manage to stay awake and focused with the sheer excitement of being there. The most useful and fascinating workshop was Anne Maclachlan's Social Media session. The camaraderie and networking was priceless. Wayson Choy was a wonder to listen to and he was so welcoming to me the first night. I met agents and writers and the wonderful organizers of the conference. I came away stoked to write, write, write. And I am.
On another (knitting) note,my Heirloom Shawl is done and Joan the test knitter is almost finished hers. Can't wait to post it to Ravelry!
...is published today on CommuterLit! Thrilled to bits! My husband wondered why I picked that photo...Geez!
Hope you all like it!
Joanne loves to...