Monday, September 28, 2009


This past weekend I attended the second fiber/yarn retreat at Delta Marsh. The first was this past March. It was just as much fun even if my knees were hurting.
One of the gals also going to the retreat who attends knit night picked me up Friday morning. After the car was packed (you would think I was going away for a month) we headed out.

First we stopped in Portage La Prairie where we had lunch at a Chinese restaurant and did a bit of browsing, stopping in a few shops and making purchases. Before we headed toward Delta Marsh we drove around the island which was quiet and empty due to the lateness of the season. There were some lovely houses or cottages with interesting names. Then we headed to Delta Marsh but again we made a couple stops first. Our first stop was to where the sign for Delta Marsh was. Of course, Nadine and I took photos.

Here is Nadine by the sign.

Then we walked further to the lake, to the next sign.

We walked a little further on the road to the lake where the marsh reeds were very tall. Nadine is not as tall as they are.

The lake was very peaceful. Here you can see that my camera is slowly dying (the pink line across the top of the photo).

AND were the mosquitoes and black flies horrid there.

Next we went to Delta Beach and there were people swimming in Lake Manitoba. I don't know when the last time people actually swam in the lake at this late date of September 25. Unfortunately, even if I wanted to take a dip in the water it was now late and we needed to get to the retreat. Also, the bugs were horrific.

Here is the road that leads to Delta Marsh Lodge.

After we signed in to the retreat we received a goodie bag which appeared to be made from a tee shirt. We could pick our own. In the bag was two skeins of Diamond Lido yarn. Mine was blue and white. The yarn was to be used during the retreat along with a pair of chop sticks that was in each goodie bag.

Also, in the bag was the makings for 'smores during a fire on the beach Saturday night, a pen, some mints and a few other goodies.

Oh what were going to do with the chop sticks and yarn? We had a knitting contest to see who could knit the most in 10 minutes. We all cast on the same amount of stitches and away we went. I was close but I didn't win. AND the chop sticks weren't the pointy kind but had square ends making the knitting more fun.

After this we played yarn BINGO. It was fun. Our cards had the names of yarns Mona carries in the shop and a yarn would be pulled out of the bag and if you had that yarn on your card you maked it. I actually was one of the original winners for the full house but when all the winners names (5) were put in a hat, I wasn't one of the two winners who divided up the original winning prize of two skeins of lovely yarn.

Here are some of the gals relaxing during the retreat.

Here is Nadine Saturday afternoon wading in Lake Manitoba.

Some more views of the lake.

An old boat on the beach.

A view facing the other direction.

Shelagh sitting on a log with a view of the lake.

There were many interesting classes to chose among from crocheting bags with cut up plastic bags , knitting green, learning how to knit two color mosaic socks to knitting techniques and tips.

I choose introductory spinning using a wheel and this is the result of my labor.
I had a problem plying the yarns together when I finished spinning. I found out why I was having this problem and now wonder if that is why I had a problem spinning. The reason for the problem???? I didn't have the tension on the wheel!!!!!

One day I will get that spinning wheel but what day that will be I have no idea at this time.

I also took a class in dyeing yarn. I had hoped it would be with a blank but it wasn't. I also hoped it would be using acid dyes and it wasn't but I had fun anyway. We used Kool-Aid. There was blue (very pale), red, purple, green (very pale), and orange.

Here is everyone's yarn drying after coming out of the microwave.

I never thought I would get any PINK. I used all the colors. I used two packets of blue and green in order to try to darken the colors some. I also then put purple on the green and dots of purple on other colors. Some areas I did red and left spaces of the natural color. When I thought I was finished I found small plastic cups of some remaining Kool-Aid colors. There was a bit of red, a bit of purple and some red and orange mixed and I dunked my yarn in each to over dye and when that was done I found a bit of several drops of Kool-Aid which I mixed and dunked my yarn in that. Here is the results.

I also took a class in making felted bangles which was quite a bit of fun. I made one bracelet and one round ball which if smaller can be stitch markers or earrings. AND if several are made they can be turned into a bracelet of round balls.

The fourth class I took was to enhance my knowledge of fair isle and intarsia. I am planning on making the Knit Picks Nonna's Garden Shawl. I have started. I have the cast on row and row one completed. I have it on a dedicated Addi Turbo needle I purchased at the retreat for $20. This is the yarn that comes in the kit.

AND here is a photo of the pattern and the start of this shawl that I must be nuts to attempt.

Here is a photo of the lodge from the lake. You can see it hiding in the distance behind the trees.

There was lots to look at, touch and buy also. Mona certainly did a good job bringing her shop of yarns, needles, books, drop spindles, rovings, fluff and spinning wheels to the retreat.

It was a difficult choice but in addition to the Addi Turbo Lace needles I also got some yarn. Two more skeins of Dye Version Fingering weight yarn consisting of 63% merino 20% silk, 15% nylon and 2% sterling silver. This yarn is for my third Clapotis Shawl when the second has been completed.

Kirsten one of the knitters in our group is spinning yarn now and I bought this that she spun and plied with beads.

There was a masseur again at the retreat and I treated myself to a half hour massage.

There was a presentation by Joanne Seff about her trips to 10+ fiber events she went to in 2007 and a trunk show of items in her book Fiber Gatherings.

We had a table full of wonderful gift baskets to be won. These included not only yarn, and books but also two baskets donated by Shoppers Drug Mart and one from me full of Avon treats.

There was even a wonderful quilt made and donated by one of the knitters in our group.

Despite spending $20 on tickets not one prize had my name on it. That was okay as the money went to a good cause The Boys and Girls Club as did all the profits from this retreat as it was a non-profit retreat.

Several people won more than one prize. Our masseuse won three prizes. She won both Shoppers Drug Mart gift baskets and the Avon basket I donated.

When we arrived on Friday the weather was lovely and warm and in the mid 80's. As the weekend progressed it got cooler and cooler until we left it was quite chilly with white caps on the lake.

Wednesday, September 23, 2009


YUP, yesterday I celebrated selling $12, 800 in Avon. Actually, I sold way more than that. It was the 2008 - 2009 banquet. I didn't receive any door prizes or the table prize this year. The table prize certainly wasn't as nice as I won last year BUT I did have the honor of having the largest increase in sales from last year in my district. It was a over 24%. I can't remember the exact amount so suffice to say 24%. I certainly was pleased and surprised specially after all the trials, tribulations, frustrations and aggravation I have had dealing with Avon this year.

Anyway. I got called on stage, received this

and this

after getting a kiss on both cheeks by the President of Avon.

I almost made it to Honor Society. To have this honor you need to sell $30,000. I was short by about $815 which I figured I could do in the last campaign but there wasn't a last campaign. I didn't realize it or was I encouraged by my manager who also didn't urge me on and let me know with a, hey girl you can do it, you can do it in the next one or two campaigns much less four. Her last email to me was telling me I had four campaigns left to achieve this goal. I felt I had too much to sell to make it. My email response to her was I really didn't think I could make it in SIX campaigns. Notice the discrepancy? My manager NEVER emailed back to correct me and didn't email again to say how close I was getting as the campaigns progressed along. I thought that when I achieve a higher level it not only looks good on me but it looks good on her. Our district which is 17th in the country could have done better. Our district had only one in Honor Society this year. There were more last year but those who made it sold less than I did. You explain it to me.

The one girl who made it into Honor Society told me if she had known I was so close she would have given me those sales since she had lots to spare. Most of the gals in the district do work with one another.

We also didn't have anyone in President's Council this year. To make that you need to sell $90,000. We did have one person in Donald H McConnel group and for that you need to sell $60,000.

You can tell even Avon is cutting back. I noticed there were less decorations than in the past 12 banquets I have been to. There were neither vases of flowers around the room nor bouquets of balloons. AND instead of bouquets of flowers to certain award winners and lots of roses only a single carnation and piece of greenery was given out to whomever was getting flowers or a flower.

The food was good but you can always make me happy if you serve me a turkey dinner. The wine both red and white flowed freely. I wonder if one of the next banquets you will only be allowed one glass. You never know.

We did get some gifts at the banquet. We received a jar of the new REVERSLIST Night Cream being advertised on TV,

a lovely necklace and

a bottle of the new Reese Witherspoon perfume to be launched closer to Christmas sales called In Bloom. I know why it appeals to me. It is described as a bouquet of gardenia blossoms and lush florals enveloped in amber wood and peach tea leaves. Now I do adore gardenia but it gets heavy and I get a headache from some gardenia fragrances. I wonder about this one. The lid is beautiful.

We also received a mini version of the next Lady Albee we will get when we reach President's Club for the 2009 - 2010 season.

There was a lady at the banquet who was celebrating her 52nd year with Avon. It almost seem unbelievable. WOW 52 years. Here she is with the president of Avon. I am sorry for the dark photo.

AND now for a commercial.

Since I have written this last month and am posting it on Oct 13 I will hold off the knitting content including swap packages received for not the next post which has already been started but the one after that.

Tuesday, September 1, 2009


I think I will start the blog off with a funny first. Doesn't everyone JUST love those infomerc1als. Well check this one out.



I received a wonderful package from Danielle in the whoduknit yahoo group. It was for a bottle swap. Some of the items I recevied were in the bottle and others weren't as I also won a prize for my handcuffs. I chose the the crossword puzzle book Murder Mystery Cosswords and dived right into it. Look at all the wonderful treats I received in the bottle and in the box. First here is my bottle with some goodies tucked inside.

I received this lovely yarn from Twisted Sisters, Brittany DPNs of which I can't ever have enough and think I need some more. This way I can have four or five pair of socks on the go at once instead of only two. Does that sound strange? There was a small 2010 calendar with a hook for attaching to a bag or strap, a mini nail file (Americana) already in use and a notepad.

Here is a close up of the yarn. It is Rayon (52%) cotton (48%) blend. AND I got three skeins.

In the box I found a book by Alison Gaylin called You Kill Me which I haven't read yet, a straight knitting needle case, a bottle of fiber wash, tissues with the initial "P" and a lovely card.

This bag was stuffed in the bottle. It is made from cotton stripe yarn. The pattern and label from the yarn were included.
Here is a close up of the bag. What a great color it is!!!!

I also received candies. Some of my favorite Jelly Belly's of which most are gone. Of course, the black licorice are still hanging around for whoever comes over and wants them. The American Hershey bar with nuts didn't last 1o minutes.

Here is the prize I chose for winning in the group.

Again THANK-YOU Danielle for such a wonderful bottle.

Here is the bottle I sent to my pal Jane in the swap. To fit everything in it I had to put two bottle together so there is no top or cap on this bottle. HEE HEE. Apparently she had to work to open it up.

Okay so a couple of weeks have gone by and I have yet to complete this post. Maybe I will today since it is already Sept 13. WOW half the month is over.

I received the Everlasting Traveling Tea Box this past week. This is a box that goes from one person to another. You take out what you like and replace like with like. If you take out 10 tea bags you replace it with 10 different tea bags. If you take a box of tea you replace it with a box of tea. If you take a skein of yarn or knitting needle/hook etc you replace it with another small item

Here is what I took.

Hand crafted earring (PINK),
a hand crafted bracelet,

a skein go navy blue Digit yarn,

a skein of green Digit yarn

tea bags, I took one of each of the top three and two of each of the rest,

three crocheted tree ornaments,

a PINK crochet hook (I couldn't resist it since it was PINK!!!) and,

a small tube of Mary Kay hand cream. I can never have enough hand cream even if I do sell Avon.

I am in the process of replacing what I took out of the box so I can mail it off to the next person on the list. This is the second box I have received. It is NOT the same as the first one a while ago.

I also received my Ravelry Felted bag. This is the second Ravelry Felted Bag Swap. My bag is on its way and as much as I would love to show you what I made this isn't a surprise swap and so if my partner reads my blog she would get to see it before it arrives. I did tell her it wasn't going to be a tote bag to carry around her knitting project. She is NOT my original partner. I have not heard from my original partner and since my new partner hasn't received a package yet I was reassigned her. I do hope she likes what I made.

What did I get? I got a lovely bag which has a lining with a pocket and it also has a zipper. Notice it is brown with PINK!!!

Inside my bag I found this bag. This is great as now I have two really neat bags to add to a couple other new ones I have received to take shopping and now I will NOT need to use plastic bags.

There was some candy, of course, which is all gone. That American Hershey bar with nuts didn't last very long.

Look at this cute lip balm with a clip to hang on my bag so I don't have to dig into the bottom of my bag to look for it.

AND then there were some yarn bras or sleeves as Boye calls them.

Lastly, some stitch markers with three different size rings. I love stitch markers. I am getting quite the collection. Definitely, I need to learn how to make some and I have an idea for my first ones.

I haven't been only receiving gifts. I am also sending gifts.

For the Ravelry Kittty Toy Swap which is my big girl Solara's swap I was to make an A$mat. Since my gal loves felted items I decided to knit and felt a kitty pi bed. It really came out nice but I put it through the machine twice to tighten up the sides and it came out way way way too small for my partner's feline furchild from seeing the photo of her/him.

Here it is drying after the first felting.

AND here it is with a stuffie in it after it has dried.

So wanting to make the sides tighter I felted it a second time. Here is Solara checking it out. She is just too big for it. She tried to sit in it and didn't quite fit.

Then she tried to lie down in it and curl up but once again it was way too samll for her.

So I decided to put it away and make the A$$mat for my partner. This also met with Solara's approval. For this project I used a strand of Boa, a strand of long eyelash and a strand of chunky yarn all knit together.

Part of this swap also includes sending a catnip filled hand made kitty toy. I made both an catnip filled egg roll and a catnip filled wonton. Both patterns were FREE on ravelry. Solara thought they were for her.

I am in the process of gathering a few goodies for my partner since I have taken care of kitty and then I will take it to the postal outlet and mail it.

I can now show the photo of the bag I knit for Nichole (rav name coey) for the Ravelry Color swap 3. I knit the Bags of Choice by Amanda Jones. Thank-you Nicole for the wonderful photo. It sure looks better than the one I took. I really think my camera is slowing going to the big camera in the sky. I chose to knit the eyelet one and I lined it with a very pretty brocade. I will definitely knit more of these. They are quite pretty and easy to knit. The handles on this bag came with the magazine where the pattern was but I do have some other handles similar in my stash.

I have completed something for Charlotte whose birthday is Sept 24. I can't show it here again in case she reads my blog. I will mail it this week as I am waiting for something ordered to arrive if it/they is/are still available.

I have finished my Cookie A Sunshine Socks, my second pair I am calling Jamacian Fruit cake.

I am working on my Ravelry Cookie A KAL Angee socks. I have compelted the first and the leg, heel and picked up the gusset stiches on the second. I am using Dream in Color Smooshy yarn for them. I love the pattern and the yarn and it is PINK and I feel so good while knitting them. I am in my happy place.

Here are photos of the completed first sock.

There seems to be something wrong with my camera see the pink across the top of the photo. AND also the area I look throught goes blurry a lot. I hope I don't have to purchase a new camera. It also seems my printer's RED ink won't print. I think it the red b/c when I do a print check the red doesn't show up. Does this mean I need a new printer also????

A close up of the pattern.

Sock #2 in progress.

AND AND AND has a new Cookie A FREE sock pattern. She is also coming out with a new book in the spring. I have seen a few of the patterns and they are great. Check it out here.
I joined the Ravelry Sockknitters Anonymous group on ravelry and they are having a KAL this month. I guess they have them every month but this month is different. Thee are three categories you can join. You can do one, two or all three.

These are the three categories.

This month’s challenges:

1. Any sock pattern using yellow yarn (solid or semi-solid).
2. The Mystery Sock by Nancy Bush using yellow yarn.
3. A Wendy Johnson pattern using any color.

You have for the first two and possible all three until the end of October to complete them. I have decided I am going to do the first two categories.

For the first category I am going to knit the 2009 Penthalon KAL pattern SUMMER the fourth pattern of the five for this year. Now most of you know I don't have yellow yarn as that is not a favorite color of mine or a color I enjoy working with so I decided to attempt to dye some Knit Picks Bare yarn yellow. I have some Easter egg tablets I got on sale and thought that the yellow would be pale enough for me to be comfortable knitting with. Of the three packages of Easter egg dyes only one had what appeared to be a yellow tablet. PHEW. I put it in the container with 3/4 cup white vinegar and VOILA it was GREEN!!!!!. Very disappointed, I put it in a small pill bottle and put it away for late use. I found out later that the tablets which look like orange are actually YELLOW. Too late for me now as I found a packet of KOOL AID lemonade and put it in vinegar and water and after soaking my yarn for 1/2 in water I then submerzed in the yellow dye bath. I didn't seem to have enough so I added some yellow food coloring. Then I nuked it. Later I found a few more KOOL AID packets in lemonade. I can't seem to find them here. These were sent to me from the states but here our RED KOOL AID (cherry, raspberry etc flavors) apparently has the best chemicals in it for dyeing. Here it is drying outside hanging from a tree.

Here are the results of it skeined. AND you can see I still didn't get the skein evenly dyed yellow but it looks nice.

I am going to do the second category also. Two clues for the mystery sock have already been given and the third comes out tomorrow or after MN tonight. For this category I ordered some yellow yarn called Banana from CraftsMeow on etsy. You can see what I got here It is very pale. I ordered it Sept 2 and it is coming from California so I should be getting it soon. She also has a couple of very nice PINK yarns. I received a FREE sock pattern with the yarn which came via PDF in my email BUT it is a toe up sock and I haven't yet learned to do a toe up sock. Guess it is time for me to learn.

Oh yes we are still having rain. This morning I awoke to this. It really isn't dark out, just foggy.

This is from my backyard.

Thisis out my front yard.

My knees are still very sore. The length of time I can walk is very limited to about two to three hours and that is pushing it. Yet I find it hard to sit still for long periods of time and need to get up and walk around despite the pain. I so badly want to sit cross legged again.

Well I just finished submitting my Avon order and it was quite large with lots of individually large orders. This could be a challenge to deliver on Friday. I may have to start early and make a second trip in the afternoon after coming home to rest depending on the size of the bags after the orders are packed and how much I can fit in my trolley.

Tomorrow I will catch up with ravelry and my SP duties. AND Tuesday morning I have a physio appt again. In the evening is knit night at McNally's so I won't be at Mona's this Tuesday. I am looking forward to going knitting.

Before I end I want to let you know of a raffle on this blog For a donation of a buck you can win a skein of sock yarn, for $2 you have a chance to win a skein of Wollmeise - Frosch (dark) colorway and for $5.00 you could win a pair of hand knit socks of your choice from yarn in her stash. So go and check it out.

Would you like to win a copy of the Joy of Sox? Here are a couple contests to enter and try to win it. Go here You have until Sept 15 MN. I already entered. If you live in the states (sorry this doesn't appear to be open to canadians) you can also enter here for a copy of the book Again the deadline is Tuesday Sept 15.

That is about all for this post.

I will try to be more consistant with blogging.