Previously on …

So I’ve been having a wild and crazy month, and after enjoying/squandering my day watching the new Arrested Development I feel the need to do a bit of a recap on my life for you folks.

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L to R: Sudden Valley, Rita, Hey Brother, Caged Wisdom

So after learning about Nancy passing away I went on a bit of a yarn binge and bought a whole bunch of the Arrested Development themed sock yarn from Cakewalk Yarns.  She was having a sale and I was having a rough day and I ended up placing an order.

I also placed an order with Tanis (of Tanis Fiber Arts) and got more yarn. And the May club shipment showed up as well, but Carla and I did a swap so that each of us could make a large shawl out of the club skeins.

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But I did finish a pair of socks, this pair is from the TFA Year in Colour Club shipment.  The color and the pattern were named Patina.  The color is exclusive to the club but the pattern will go on sale sometime next year.

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Meet my new wheel, Claudia. She is named for Lady Bird Johnson, who was actually named Claudia and founded the Wildflower Center in Austin where I worked and does amazing work. She was a neat lady and it seemed a good a name as any.

I also have a new addition to the family.  I had a Monday off a couple of weeks ago and I made the drive to Gemini Fibres to try out different wheels and figure out which one I wanted.  Instead of waiting, I decided to take home my new wheel, a Schacht Ladybug.  I strongly considered the Lendrum Double Treadle wheel, but the Ladybug really was the best fit.

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We are already making beautiful yarn together.

 

I’ve also cast on for a new pair of socks, but my knitting mojo is totally bleh right now.  Which is very unfortunate because I have some serious knitting to get done.

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I’m looking forward to knitting and wearing these socks, the pattern is Harvest Dew by Rose Hiver and the yarn is Muskoka Sunset from Blueberry Pie Studio.

On top of that knitting I have a wedding shawl to knit for my sister and a shawl for me to wear at her wedding.  I had cast on several weeks ago with the beautiful gold yarn she had ordered from Sweet Georgia Yarns, but I couldn’t make myself knit it.  However, my reticence was a good thing, because after some serious wedding planning with Carla and our mom last weekend we realized that it would be better for me to knit a pi shawl out of a cream colored yarn to be used as a veil rather than a shawl. The pattern I’m using is Heliotaxis Pi Shawl by Renata Brenner and the yarn is an undyed silk from Handmaiden Yarns that Carla bought on her trip down east last summer. I ordered a second skein so that it will be a full sized pi that can be used for future big events, like babies.

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Another big thing going on is that I’m now a proud owner of two boat shuttles, because I’m borrowing one of the Trillium Handspinners and Weavers Guild Dorothy table looms for a workshop with Jette Vandermeiden in June.  The guild had the  loom but not shuttles, but now I’m worried I’m going to enjoy multi-shaft weaving a bit too much and want a table or floor loom.  Also, the guild has a brand spanking new website, www.trilliumguild.com, which I created.  It’s still a work in progress, but this is a big step forward.

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The biggest thing going on, and a likely cause for my lack of crafting mojo, is that I’m moving on June 1st.  I found an apartment in Downtown Bracebridge, within walking distance of work with a balcony that faces the Muskoka River.  I’m currently in the process of packing all my things and getting ready to go.  But living in the mess I’ve created is really impacting my mental health.  The new spot is amazing.  It doesn’t have nearly as fancy floors but it has closets and cupboards that close and I can store my yarn in a far more useful and attractive way. I can’t wait to get moved into my new place and get my life back to normal again.

So, today was a great day of packing, Arrested Development and an impromptu visit from Carla and Jim (which included lunch at the Old Station, a peek at my new office and a trip to the Muskoka Brewery’s new location). I’m hoping this week goes quickly because I wanna get moved and get out of the mess I’ve made for myself in my apartment.

 

 

And on the seventh day

I have enjoyed many of Paulo Coelho’s books, starting with The Alchemist, his best known work.  I heard it first when I was at summer camp as a teen and it was read out loud to us each day at lunch.  I know that sounds cheesy but it was an amazing opportunity to take a mid-day break and stories read aloud are really special.

Paulo has written many other books over the years and most are variations on a theme but one theme (and set of books) I have been thinking about is his “On the Seventh Day” series where he drops the reader into the life of a character for just a week as the protagonist experiences transformative change. The idea being that everything can change in just one week.

While my week has not exactly been extreme, it has been a “helluva” week (for lack of a better term).  Last Saturday I was at the Knitter’s Frolic in Toronto and enjoying a wonderful day with my sister.  Sunday was equally quiet, but then Monday I found out I got a new apartment in Bracebridge, which lead to a week of signing a lease, notifying my current landlady, making arrangements for moving and all that.  At work I was in 5 days and working like mad because we had two big events this week, saw the new office space we are moving into in June, making plans for the other large events we have coming up in the next few weeks.  And the big bomb dropped Thursday, when I found out that a woman who I sang with in the choir had died of cancer that morning.

Well, that pushed a busy week into an overwhelming week, oh and cancer fucking sucks.

Nancy, who was in her 60, was a friend of mine.  We were in the same section of the choir (2nd Soprano/Lead in barbershop arrangement) and often butted heads about pitch and timing.  She was a incredible, wild, amazing woman who gave so much to her community and sang her heart out, despite only being on pitch some of the time.  She knew she wasn’t a gifted singer, but what she lacked in natural ability she made up for a thousand times in spirit, caring and general gusto.

Since finding out on Thursday I’ve been intermittently crying (which I am right now as I write this) and singing some of her favorite (and a few of her most hated) choir songs.  Her funeral is tomorrow and so I’m heading to Parry Sound this afternoon to spend a bit of time with my sister today.  I will be singing with the choir at the service.

It feels like a lifetime ago that I found out I got the amazing apartment.

Oh and knitting, I do that too, but with all the upheaval this week and spending time at the gym I haven’t made it very far into my knitting.  I’ve nearly finished another pair of socks (half a foot and two toes) but I started up a new shawl with some of the madelinetosh Tosh Merino in Astrid Grey I got at the Frolic.

Astrid Grey

 

I also rescued a few items from the frogging pond, and already had several other project on the go.  Oh and I need to make sure that I have Carla’s wedding shawl done before the leaves start changing color so I have time to make my shawl as well.

So, seven days.  A whole lot can happen in seven days.

Hello Bracebridge

Downtown Bracebridge on a spectacular September day

Sorry for the radio silence, I have been busy moving from my adopted hometown of Parry Sound, Ontario to Bracebridge, Ontario about 50mi (80km) southeast of Parry Sound in Muskoka.

Muskoka is famous for its lakes, it IS cottage country for many in the more urban and while there are many beautiful parts of Ontario where people have cottages (including Parry Sound/Georgian Bay, Haliburton, and the Kawarthas which are all located within spitting distance of Muskoka), Muskoka is the grande dame of cottage country, with three large lakes playing host to cottagers since the late 19th century.

Yeah, Muskoka is pretty spectacular

While many people choose to move to Muskoka in their retirement for its beauty (and to live the cottage lifestyle all year round), I moved for my job.  It is only a contract, but there are lots more options for me to work as a Stewardship/Conservation Educator or a Community Planner as there is a much larger population and more employers in my field.  Also, after living with my parents on and off since graduating from grad school in May 2010 it was time to move out again.

I moved just over a week ago and I’m finally settling in. I found a great apartment, out of town right on the Muskoka River with hardwood floors and vaulted ceilings, and thanks to my mom and sister it is starting to feel like home.

While things are going well here, but I’m pretty homesick for Parry Sound and Georgian Bay.

The Big Sound, how could I not be homesick for this!

One of the constants in my life has been moving.

Growing up, my Dad’s job moved us a few times, and since graduating from high school I have been moving every 2-3 years. When I moved to Parry Sound, it was just supposed to be for the summer, I was supposed to get a summer job and find something permanent in the fall.  Then summer turned to fall, fall into winter and my contract at the Georgian Bay Biosphere Reserve was up and I still hadn’t found anything else, a few months of unemployment and I came across another contract, for a year this time.  I couldn’t believe I had found work again in Parry Sound, it is a town of 6,500.

Without realizing it, Parry Sound had become as much a hometown as I have ever had.  Weekly dinners with my grandparents, going to the gym with my sister, making some really good friends (hi Laura), falling for my sister’s puppy, were all things I wasn’t expecting when I moved “home” to a backwater town in Northern Ontario from Austin, Texas.

Little Toshie has wormed her way into my heart, and I’m really not a dog person.

For the first time in my life, moving away doesn’t force me to abandon my old life.  Parry Sound is a 1 hour drive from Bracebridge, I did it every day this summer.  I already have my first trip back planned for September 29th for a community event (Doors Open Parry Sound) and a party at my sister’s place and to try out the new taco place that just opened the weekend I moved.

I am still knitting, and after a week of unpacking I spent last Saturday lazing around and finishing off a shawl/stole/scarf thing in Tosh DK and maybe this week I will tell you about my yarn show as an indigodragonfly Minion and how I got to meet the Yarn Harlot and finally posting about my other pair of Ravellenic Socks!

Movin’ on up?

So, I don’t think I am going to get my final TFA KAL project done by the Jan 31st, mostly because I am about 10 grams into a 115 gram ball of Red Label and true lace (as in patterning on every row) is not exactly the quickest stuff to finish.

Nothing like a Traveller travelling.

I would have had a fighting chance of finishing if I hadn’t moved this weekend.  Why yes, I have moved again.  The house I have been staying at since September sold back in early December but the closing date isn’t until Feb 10, so I got to spend the the holidays and January (which is an evil, devilish month, at least for 2012 it has been) in the house.

So I am back with my parents, hopefully not for long as I am already missing the privacy of living alone, however, having good meals prepared is pretty awesome!  I no longer have an office, but rather my desk is at the end of the hall, I miss my office but hopefully I will get more spinning done now that I have a spinning corner in my room.

My furry, sweet, drooly, purring kitty, looking so terribly classy.

MommaCat, who I have been caring for since I moved into my old place, is spending this last night alone and tomorrow will be headed for her new digs.  I will miss her, but she wasn’t really my cat, I was just her nanny for a while, and I won’t miss cleaning her litter box.