Sunday, March 29, 2009


Oh my did I ever have sooooo much fun last weekend. It was just the best time I have had in a very long time. Just imagine a weekend of endless knitting, yarn petting, being around friends, having wonderful meals served, and not having to cook the meals and clean up after, no phones to answer, no Avon to worry about and no deadlines with a list of must get done chores/items. Yes it has taken me a weekend to get this written. Sorry about that. BUT coming back and resettling in, it is that Avon you know, and the winter storm with heavy duty shoveling I cheated doing; time just passed by. I did, however, upload my photos and now I can report on the great time I had.

I was picked up on Friday around dinner time. Solara and I waited patiently for Deb to come and get me.
The retreat was held at Delta Marsh a little more than an hour from my home. Here is where you can find some information about Delta Marsh

If you click here Facilities you will get a drawing of the area and different buildings. My room was in the Mallard Lodge.

Wikipedia has this to day about Delta Marsh and you can find lots more information when you "google" Delta Marsh.

When we arrived we checked in which took place in the dining room and we signed our rights away meaning we were granting permission to take photos of us and post them. OH help me please!!!!! HEE HEE We had to give our next of kin. Was that in case we were killed by DPNs or a pointy stick or suffocated in a pile of yarn and fluffy rovings? We received a goodie bag and a name tag to fill out and wear. I brought my own name tag. In the goodie bag which was a reusable bag everyone received two skeins of Just Bamboo by Sidar. Mine was a dusty blue BUT Shelagh traded with me as she received a dusty PINK.

I also found a hand knitted dishcloth with a snowflake and the pattern for the dishcloth, pen, pencil, notepad, candy and one of the round rubber doohickeys you use to open jar lids with. I certainly didn't expect to get a goodie bag and such a nice one also.

I shared a room with my friend Shelagh in Mallard Lodge.
Mallard Lodge over looked the lake and a few weeks earlier students were there and built igloos on the ice. Then they slept in them. The colder it is outside when they spend the night the better their bragging rights are. It is very difficult to take photos of igloos being they are white ice on white snow on a frozen lake but I did try.Here are some photos surrounding Mallard Lodge. In these first two you can also see the lake.

In the great room of Mallard Lodge there was a very long table with lots of fiber and yarn to pet and purchase. AND what you could find by digging deep into the bottom of those piles of yarn.
This is at the end of the retreat on Sunday afternoon and you can see how tired Dorian (Mona's son) is. He worked so hard and he played hard also. Now he was going to have to help pack and clean it all up so he too could go home.

Off the main room was a porch where vendors had items for sale. So there really was a lot that could be purchased. Some of the items sold by the vendors included items from these spinners. I met one of the gals (the one in the doorway) when I was on my Alpaca tour this past fall. The mystery yarn I bought from her, I knit into my Dead Before Dark project, the Love Bites Scarf.
Dorian taught a FREE drop spindle course which I initially had planned to take but instead took Tunisian Crochet. I did end up learning to use the drop spindle a bit from the spinners and then at knit night this past Tuesday I was shown how to get started. Here is Dorian using his drop spindle Dorian wasn't the only MALE who attended the retreat. A young high school boy named Bret did also. Here he is concentrating on his Estonia Lace after the class. He joins us most Tuesdays to knit at Mona's and he has become quite an accomplished knitter having knit a hat, mitts and now is working on socks.
There were lots of FREE classes. I took one on Tunisian Crochet and here we are with our great big hooks.

In the end I chose to use a small afghan hook I had with me to work on a scarf using Noro Kureyon. There are two skeins of yarn as it is two sided (both sides are right sides). It is very interesting and when I got home my girlfriend who is a crocheter and NOT a knitter didn't know about it. I got to teach it to her.

Dorian taught a class on knitting a mobieus. I don't have a photo of what I am knitting but I am using the beautiful yarn I received in my first ravelry color swap. I only hope I put on enough stitches.

Another FREE class I took was felting soap. I know how to but since there is always more information to learn I figured I could learn something new and I did. I also think depending on the fluff you use determines how easy it is to felt. This was the easiest soap I have felted so far. It was way tooo much fun

Here is my felted soap.
Another class I took was on Estonia Lace. The cost was all of $10.00. It was taught very professionally with a slide show presentation and a break in the middle to do exercises which I was way too stiff to do.

Here is our teacher Helen on the right teaching Deb on the left the finer points of lace knitting. Deb is also the wonderful gal who picked me up and drove me to the retreat and drove me back home.

I learned I don't have to put big nups in my Estonia Lace. WHOO HOO

We didn't just KNIT and/or CROCHET we also ate. We were fed very well.

These two photos were taken on Saturday morning. We had sausages and French toast, fruit, yogurt, drink mix, coffee and tea.

Sunday morning we had ham and pancakes with two kinds of yogurt, fruit, drink mix, coffee and tea. Lunch on Saturday was home made veggie soup and fresh baked rolls with chicken, egg salad, ham, beets, lettuce and tomatoes, drink mix, coffee and tea. Sunday lunch was home made tomato rice soup, grilled cheese sandwiches and salad with choice of two dressings. Saturday dinner was lasagna, garlic toast and ceasar salad, drink mix, coffee and tea. All meals ended with a dessert from cookies to cobblers and snacks were provided for us in between meals. Meal time was 8A, Noon and 5:30P. On Friday when we arrived there was a ton of snacks to nibble on such as a fruit tray, veggie tray, crackers, dips, cookies, chips, muffins, peanut brittle and I made some rice pudding and magic bar. There was plenty left over to nosh on Saturday evening. There was also lots of wine being imbibed over the weekend. BUT we didn't just KNIT, CROCHET and EAT. You could also book a massage appt. I didn't bring enough cash for that and then I would have needed to find a time slot that wasn't already taken in my very booked schedule.

Mona was shocked when she was presented with a present for all the work she had done. It was given to her by Letty who helped with this wonderful retreat we were given the opportunity to partake in.

Here is Shelagh being silly.
There was a fabulous auction table set up in the great room in Mallard Lodge opposite the yarn table.
This is the end of the retreat on Sunday afternoon while we were waiting for the auction tickets to be drawn. I didn't win anything but I did put a large Avon gift basket in and Mona added some yarn and a candle pack to it.

Here are some participants waiting to see if they had a winnng ticket.

We had 33 people attend and I can pretty much guarentee it will be a sell out for our second retreat this fall called "COLORS". It is being held Friday September 25 - Sunday September 27. I so want to attend again. Now all I need to do is finish up my income taxes and send them in, wait for my refund and purchase my washing machine and then I can save for the next retreat.

While I was at the retreat I met some very fine yarns. AND I take a few of those new friends home with me.

Here is what I purchased at the retreat.

This first yarn is from a Cherry Hill Tree Indie Dyer. This particular yarn is 80% super merino and 20% nylon. It is naturally dyed with botanical and insect based dyes. Then in hand writing this is added to the label: lac, cochineal, osage orange, madder, sandalwood.

Is this NOT absolutely beautiful yarn?

I also found this hat pattern attached to a few different skeins of Fleece Artist yarn.
I checked the table until I found a color yarn I loved and here is what I chose. It is Wooly Silk 3 Ply. It is 65%wool and 35% silk
I found a cup on the table and it had a sign on it that said 50% off. There wasn't much in the cup but on the bottom I found these earrings which I got for $5.00.
At the end of the retreat I ended up also buying a spindle. One day I would like to be able to spin the yarn before I turn into knitted socks. I know that will take me a while. What I have spun so far is still thick, the spindle drops and the fluff into yarn breaks but I am getting better. It is a very slow process. Maybe in six months or even three and who knows maybe next month I will be much improved. AND eventually I want to get a spinning wheel, carders (hand and eventually a drum carder). Maybe the carders will come first due to the cost of a spinning wheel.

I loved being away and gladly would have loved the retreat to last longer but it is always good to get back home.

Solara survived while I was gone. She didn't stop chatting at me until we went to sleep that night.

When I got home Sunday afternoon after putting all my stuff away, I was playing with my spindle and she discovered the small container that was holding some colored fluff and thought it would be a swell place to sit.

She soon left that to play in the rovings. She went to sleep in it. She also loved to pull at it with her teeth and knead it.

When I returned home I found a card from the postman that he tried to deliver a package to me earlier on Sunday but b/c it needed a signature he took it to the postal outlet for me to sign for before I got it.
Then on Monday another package was delivered to me. Talk about exitement.
The rest of the week there was only mail delivered on one day Tuesday. Very strange if you ask me.
Today I received a package from the postman.
That will be in my next post.

Thursday, March 19, 2009


Well I am so glad it is over. My test is done for a year. I do know they found some adenomous tissue in my duodenum but until the biopsy comes back that is all I know and that some polyps from my stomach were also removed for testing (apparently I have a stomach full of polyps). I need to call the doctor and remind them to send me a copy of the pathology report when they get it for MY records. AND yes I did wake during the procedure needing more sedation. I am sure that is why I end up with a sore throat. If I could sleep through the procedure I wouldn't be fighting the tube. OH WELL. I know I started off with between 5 & 10 of Versed and 100 of Fentanyl but was given more of the Versed when I awoke. I do know for one procedure I had to be given 14 of Versed before I dropped off to sleep. It is very strange as the nurse injects the medication in the IV and you are talking to her and then it gets hazy and next you know you wake up.

So now I am getting ready to go to my GP for my monthly B12 injection and get a referral to see the plastic surgeon. I have seen him many many times before and have been told "just call for an appt when you need to come in again, you don't need a referral" but all of a sudden they want a referral. So I will get that today also. I need him to check my left middle finger which won't bend and also several (seven) lumps and bumps I have. He has removed numerous lumps and bumps already. Some are sebaceous cysts from my illness and others apparently are lipomas. I have had a few very large lipoma's removed, in addition, to the many smaller ones. I think these are in the small range to middle range and definitely not as large as the one I had in my back. The largest of them is annoying and about 2 - 3 inches above the right ankle protuberance bone. I even was on the ball and called for my mammogram when I didn't get my letter to go for my appt. I remember going in March every other year but last time it was April so that is why I haven't received my letter yet. I now have an appt for April 30. It is part of the screening woman over 50 get in Manitoba. They are done every other year.

While out I will get 4L of milk to make rice pudding to take to the retreat and come home to make not only rice pudding but also magic bar. I have a bottle of red wine I will bring but I do need to get some 7 Up to mix it with. Then I need to put labels on my Avon brochures and pack the orders when it arrives this evening so I can get some deliveries done tomorrow before I leave for the retreat.

HMMMM I guess packing would be a good idea. Now should I have a larger suitcase for two days of clothes and toiletries or my knitting projects????

It is now 1AM and I can finally finish this post.

Rice pudding is made as is the magic cookie bar I am bringing to the retreat. My Avon is packed and ready to be delivered tomorrow. Of course, not all of it as I don't have a car and have to hoof it. Three orders were even picked up this evening. My clothes and blankie are washed just not packed. My toiletries are also packed except for what I need tomorrow (my face cream). I just need to decide on which bag to take. NOT suitcase bag, pocketbook bag. I got two new ones from Avon b/c I couldn't decide. One I can't take if I decide to keep it since it is white but the other is PINK. Or do I take my old black bag. I have chosen what knitting I want to bring too. I am bringing my Salida Socks, the bag for my felted bag partner, my new Clapotis shawl I started in hospital waiting for the procedure using my new "Silver" yarn and my February Lady Sweater. HMMMM do I need to bring more to last until Sunday. Remember it is a woman's perogitive to change her mind. I also am bringing my new Knit Picks ball winder and new swift. AND I am bringing an Avon basket of goodies for the auction table. I put some really nice goodies in it. I just need to pick up clear wrap tomorrow after I finish delivering my Avon. I must remember to take need two birthday packages to mail when I head out tomorrow.

Knitting Goodness

On Tuesday my Knit Picks package finally came. This is what I ordered and received.

First I ordered two books. I have always wanted this book and I finally got it. It has such cute little fruits, vegetables and people you can knit.

AND I also wanted this book. It has some interesting articles and a great dragon pattern. There are a few other nice patterns. It is very expensive if you don't get it from Knit Picks. Not a lot mind you but a few. It s a great coffee table book and there are a lot of lovely photographs. I am like a child I love picture books.

I received my Knit Picks Ball Winder. PHEW I figured with my luck it would be back ordered but my luck as not been too bad recently. It not only has a clamp but it also has a handle. AND for people like me who take a while to figure things out by the handle it has an arrow that says turn this way. LOL Oh I am holding it in my hallway. On the other side of the wall to the left is the kitchen and to the right are the stairs ,going up is behind me and going to the basement is in front of me..

Here is my set of Harmony DPNs. I hope to eventually get a second set as I contiue to knit my socks two at a time but on DPNS. I rather use two of the same brand needles when I can.

This is the magnetic chart holder I ordred. It makes reading the charts much easier than leaning over the TV table. You can't actually see the chart b/c my Salida Sock pattern is on it. Thanks to a knitting buddy Donna I really didn't have trouble with the wandering cables b/c I colored each of the three different cable patterns a different color. That sure made it easier to follow that looking at all the slanted lines and wondering if I did it correctly.

AND I got some yarn. I ordered two more skeins of yellow Palette in Cornmeal just in case someone asks me to knit them a bag of potato chips. Now I have a question about knitting potato chips. One of my friends did ask me what I would charge to knit her a bag of chips. She though it would be fun if she was putting a basket of food together as a gift to include them. She doesn't knit, crochet, spin, dye yarn or do crafts so I can't do an exchange with her. Okay, what is a good price to knit up a bag of chips?

I also ordered and received two skeins of Shimmer which is a baby alpaca and silk blend lace weight yarn. It is light as air and very very soft. The color is Galaxy.
This purchase was possible due to a wonderful gift certificate I received a while ago and have been saving for just the right time.

I would have liked to get the new Cookie A Sock Innovation book but it isn't available until March 31. There were a few other books I would have liked among lots of other items.

AND even though I live in Canada I didn't pay any shipping which was another bonus. I heard there was FREE shipping in Canada in March but that was after I received my treats.

Oh yes how did Solara feel about me receiving such a lovely package. What do you think?
I forgot to show off my NEW rubber boots. I purchased them Saturday at Wal-Mart for $24.99. Being I hoof it a lot and have to deliver Avon and the puddles now and for the next few weeks are large and deep I thought these would do the trick. That is until the bumps on my toes get larger and I need a larger size boot I also got another sheep to add to my ever growing collection on Saturday the day of Solara's "pussy" party. I need a name for her. Isn't she sweet?
She is thick and fluffy.

Now I can show you what I knit for my secret pal BJ and sent in her third package. I knit her a Challah Cover which I found on her ravelry queue. I can't tell you the particulars as the name of the yarns I used until I find the labels which I misplaced.
Here is the back of it. I did it in fair aisle as I found this much easier than doing it in duplicate stitch. I did use duplicate stitch for the two stitches on two letters on the bottom of the row and I was pulling out my hair doing just those four stitches!!!! I also have turned the heel and decreasing the gussets of both Salida socks.
There is definitely a chance that I will get these finished by the end of the month.
Soon it will be time for me to go on my Wooly Winter Fiber and Knitting Retreat. I am going to Delta Marsh about an hour out of the city tomorrow (Friday). I am being picked up between 4P and 5P. I am so very excited and it is because of a generous gift from another knitter who isn't attending as she isn't from here and has left our fine city last week.

I AM SO VERY EXCITED. LET THE FUN BEGIN AND YES I AM SHOUTING from my rooftop. Well I am would be if I could get to my rooftop so I am shouting from my computer. I have signed up for the FREE course in soap felting to learn something new to add to what I know, the FREE course on making a mobieus and also the FREE course on using a drop spindle. I am taking a paid course on Estonia Lace ($10). Yes even though there are NUBs (baby sized bobbles so baby sized tumors) I don't like bobbles because they remind me of tumors. By taking the course I thought I might be able to get more help in chart reading. I don't have to knit those Estonia Lace Shawls that have nubs. There are some without them.
I hope you all have as much fun this weekend as I plan to have.