Adventures with Paracord

As you might have noticed, I’ve been pretending to be athletic this summer. This includes running and biking outside. I read other bloggers adventures in running, biking and hiking for inspiration and ideas but one post I saw changed my outlook on outdoor activity safety.

Paracord-2734

This was one of those posts about top 10 useful things for running or 5 pieces of gear you need to complete a triathlon. It was called a Road ID. It is a bracelet with your name, emergency contact information and any pressing medical conditions/allergies. You get to completely customize it so you can put whatever information you want onto it. I ended up putting my name, the city I live in, Paul’s number, my mom’s number and my antibiotic allergies.

Paracord-2731

I kind of went back and forth about the Road ID. It is a good investment, but is it worth it? Maybe I could do it myself cheaper. I couldn’t find a place to do the little metal plate cheaper. The plate is engraved and affixed to the bracelet. There was no where I could find that allowed so many lines of text for so cheap. I wasn’t really keen on the bracelet part of it though.

Paracord-2729

The bracelet is just a Velcro watch band, essentially. I could see it looking really good for a couple months and then looking absolutely horrible. I wanted something a bit more durable than Velcro as well. With a little bit of research online I found paracord bracelets. I went out and got the materials from Michael’s, it was not expensive at all. A couple of YouTube videos later I was in business.

Paracord-2733

The funny part was, I kept seeing ‘emergency paracord bracelet’ and I couldn’t figure out why it was an ‘emergency’ bracelet. If you unravel the bracelet you have an extra length of paracord. A friend actually had to tell me that.

Paracord-2723

It’s been keeping me out of trouble for a little bit and now I have an awesome bracelet wristband for my Road ID!!

On and On Again

What is going on with knitting this week!? Nothing much I am sad to say! I haven’t been all that interesting lately; I think I’ve lost some of my knitting mojo! It’s a real thing and happens to everyone at some point! For me it is usually in the summer when it is absurdly hot. No one even wants to look at a sweater let along knit it! This past weekend the temperature was in the high 20’s but the ‘feels like’ temperature was 34. THIRTY FOUR DEGREES!! I couldn’t look at what the humidity index was, but I am sure it was something absolutely atrocious.

Screen Shot 2015-07-21 at 6.49.00 PM

This past weekend I got a chance to sit and do nothing. No writing, no sample knitting, no knitting for other people. Just… nothing. I started thinking about knitting a sweater. It’s been a while since I’ve done it and at heart I am definitely a sweater knitter. I think my grandmother’s sweater has really annihilated my desire for sweater knitting. If I am knitting a sweater then I feel like I should be knitting hers because she asked me to so long ago. The last sweater I knit as a palate cleanser turned out to be an unmitigated disaster. I need a success, I need to just whip off an easy sweater and not worry about anything. I’ve listened to a podcast where the podcasters gave their listeners permission to change a pattern or put things on hold. I am officially giving myself permission to knit a sweater, out of whatever yarn I want, without guilt, without shame even!

Screen Shot 2015-07-21 at 6.49.32 PM

I think this is something every knitter gets caught up in. As soon as you start knitting, people start making orders. I always offer to teach them and they can make their own. I really think it’s interesting how quickly a lot of people back pedal away from the thought of knitting. It takes hours and hours of time for a knitted garment to be produced and knitters pour their blood, sweat and tears into these projects. I know I’ve mentioned this book before but Franklin Habit’s comic book It Itches really hits the nail directly on the head. If someone is knitting you something, that is time they are spending on you. There are a 1000 other things they could be knitting or doing, but they are taking that time aside and working on something special for you. Odds are, they’re thinking about you and how much you are going to love this gift, pouring good feelings into it.

Screen Shot 2015-07-21 at 6.51.49 PM

I’ve heard the philosophy, don’t knit angry. If you’re fighting with someone or unhappy, don’t knit on that project. I can remember what I was listening to or watching while I was knitting particular garments. Sometimes I don’t get specific scenes from garments, but I will get the emotions that film evokes; inspiration, anxiety, suspense, excitement. I know when I watch the Lord of the Rings movies and knit I always feel like those pieces are for travelling. I might have to start picking my projects based on what I am watching on TV at the time.

Screen Shot 2015-07-21 at 6.46.12 PM

When I was knitting the Harry Potter scarves for the last movie, I ONLY knit when I was watching a Harry Potter movie. To cut the fringe, I wrapped the yarn around the third Harry Potter book. I couldn’t help but remember the movies when I wore that scarf. I had to make about five of them and in the end, I think I gave the scarf I made for myself away. I might have to make another one and instill it with the same concentrated amount of Harry Potter power as the last one. Perhaps I’ll do something different this time? A Lord of the Rings or Doctor Who scarf? Decisions decisions…

Screen Shot 2015-07-21 at 6.50.04 PM

Board Games

One thing Paul and I enjoy is having friends over for board games. Paul is friends with a lot of people who are really into games, so we get all the best reviews. Occasionally, someone will get a new game and we will all gather the troops. This past weekend we got everyone together for a game of werewolves.

Board Games-2635

Paul and I had played one night werewolf with his brothers and a few of their friends. The premise of the game; everyone is dealt a random card with a character on it. It could be a villager, werewolf or special character. You look at your card and then everyone goes to ‘sleep’ (we close our eyes). The werewolves open their eyes and look at the other werewolves, so they all know who one another is. Then the special characters; the trouble maker can switch two people’s cards, robber can switch their card with another person’s, the drunk switches their card into the middle with a totally random card.

Board Games-2634

 

 

Then we wake up. No one looks at their cards and you have five minutes to decide who the werewolf is. If you started out as a werewolf, you might not be anymore and if you were the drunk, you have no idea what you are. There are more special characters than those three, but it is a lot of fun. Much pointing and shouting.

Board Games-2655

Our friends have the longer version of this game, Ultimate Werewolf. There is a story to this game and no switching of the cards. You are dealt a card and the werewolves kill off one person every ‘night’ (when everyone’s eyes are closed). It is a more intricate game, but just as fun. The objective is to find out who the werewolves are before they kill all the villagers. In this game there is a sheriff, so the person appointed sheriff got to wear the cowboy hat…. After that the hats kept multiplying.

Board Games-2648

These two games are excellent party games and one night werewolf is quick and can be played with as little as two players, but is really best with 4-6 people. The Ultimate Werewolf is excellent for seasoned gamers and can handle from 6-30 people.

The Story of the Dreaded Pocket

I’ll start with my own knitting, then… we will have story time!!
I’ve been plugging away at my knitting, little by little. Working on my Shibui gradient scarf, I have totally forgotten how amazing it is to knit with silk cloud.

Shibui Gradient-2671

It’s not a really common fibre so when I pull it out to work on it everyone goes “ooooooooohh, what’s that?” This is the third gradient scarf I’ve done and I’ve got enough to make another one afterwards. These scarves are the epitome of potato chip knitting. The pattern is free on Ravelry.
You have to hold three strands of this yarn together and knit in a seed stitch. After completing one colour block, you switch out one of the strands for another colour. The pattern is very easy and the yarn is a dream to knit with, so you find yourself saying… just one more stripe. Next thing you know it is 4am and you’ve finished off another season of something on Netflix.

Shibui Gradient-2668

I do have a funny knitting story to tell. A knitting friend, who wished to remain anonymous, came to me with a problem. She was knitting a sweater and could not make heads nor tails about the instructions pertaining to the pocket. I looked at it and had a hard time making it out. The ONLY reason I could tell what the designer was talking about was the fact that I had done this kind of pocket before. Basically, you knit your sweater till the place you want the pocket to be, you cast off stitches for the pocket. On separate needles, you knit a swatch the same amount of stitches as the ones you cast off for the pocket; knit until you have the depth needed for the pocket. At this point, when you’re purling back to the place where you bound off those stitches, you take the swatch that you knit (still with live stitches) and knit it in there. This creates a hole in the front with a flap; later you go back and sew the edges of the flap to the inside of the sweater. You can then put your hand in the hole and have a pocket! Victory!
I explained this, and she caught on; it wasn’t so difficult. The next day, she messaged me, upset and talking about ripping out several inches of knitting. I told her to wait and let me take a look. The way she described it, I didn’t think it would be necessary to rip out stitches. Sure enough, when I looked at it, all the stitches were fine and she had done the pocket totally and completely right. The pocket flap was on the outside of the sweater so she thought she would be sewing it onto the outside. She wasn’t visualizing the technique, but had done everything 100% correct. There was no problem with the knitting.
Afterwards, she felt really silly and that she should have seen that. I told her that I was impressed she had managed to get it right without knowing what the big picture was. That completely astounded me! I couldn’t believe she had followed those instructions without a mental picture of what it was going to look like! When she persisted that she really should have seen it, I said “well… at least you didn’t just rip it out!” The thought galvanized us into some very productive knitting for the rest of our hangout.
I didn’t manage to get any photos, but said friend told me to tell her story! Hopefully it put a smile on your face and gave you a pick-me-up on your Wednesday!

A Cat Calling

I realize I haven’t officially introduced my fur-balls on the blog, so I am going to do so now. I have three cats; who are my constant knitting companions. They’re only allowed near recreational knitting because they have a love for yarn that almost rivals mine.

Cat Post-0116

Above is Lucky, attempting to grab a ball of yarn and run with it. I don’t know if it is just the movement of the yarn or the smell or something, but she will attempt to grab a ball of yarn in her mouth and run with it.

Cat Post-2481

Just above here is Sassy; she has a variety of variations on her name, such as Sass-a-frass, Frasser, etc. In that photo is my warping board with shoestrings, pant strings, and all manner of string the cats have managed to steal from various types of clothing. The warping board had just been sitting in the hall way and I threw a few of the strings on it entertain the cats. Total hit.

Cat Post-0602

Last but not least is Chloe. I don’t know if her fondness for yarn is truly a fibre obsession or if she just likes sitting on my lap. There are literally thousands of photos of her on my computer; she is either snuggling yarn, or all tangled up.

I have definitely knit a couple things for the casts, like this…

Cat Post-1010

But they forgave me eventually. Chloe actually didn’t mind the little sweater; she purred the whole time it was on.

I don’t try to put them into little sweaters or Halloween costumes (that only happened once) very often. I don’t think they would forgive me otherwise. Those are the three troublemakers who allow me to live in their house and even grace others with their presence sometimes. What is the best thing you have ever seen knitted for a pet?

Cat Post-1650

Not that you can’t tell, but she was not amused.