Scrappy Raven's Nest

Quilting, sewing, knitting, fighting depression, and doing as little housework as possible.

Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Merry Belated Christmas and Happy New Year

I'm a little late with finishing this project (on December 24th). The good/bad news is that we all know Christmas will be rolling around again and once again I will have a use for this Advent Calander. Not that I dislike Christmas; I'm just a little tired. We lost my Mom a couple of weeks before Christmas. However we tried to have a good but quiet Christmas to cheer up my Daughter. This weekend we have to take Daughter back south to school and I'm not looking forward to that. When I get back to the cold and blustery north, I'm going to lock myself in a room, and cry while I finish a crazy quilt pillow that has been languishing for several years. Creativity is the best antidote for languishing. Happy New Year (it can only get better ).

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

One of my favorite knitting books is "Mother-Daughter Knits". Sorry about the horrible photo of it nestled amongst the clean laundry pile I am trying to ignore. The Buttoned Muffler pattern is excellent. Here it is in Patons Shetland Chunky. Misty cat is not impressed so I tried it on myself as well.
As well I am working on this hooked rug. This is my first try at rug hooking and it seems to be going all right (I hope). As you can see Misty is one of my favorite models.

Friday, October 23, 2009

I haven't blogged for a long time. It's been a little stressful. My daughter left for school in early September. She is only 14 and attending a boarding school. She researched the whole thing last year and initiated the whole endeavor. She was so gung -ho and being our only child we decided to make her dream come true. We're very proud of her for coping with the move so well but of course we miss her terribly. We are able to see her every other week or so as business often takes us to the city where she is. The school is fantastic and the staff are so professional and take great care of the kids.

Then I was phoned at work and an emergency doctor in Winnipeg told me my mother was dying of cancer. My mother and I have been estranged but I was devastated and went immediately to see her. She has Alzheimers as well so although she recognizes me she isn't aware of what is going on.

Through all of this knitting has been my salvation. Knitting for my daughter gives me a feeling that at least I am able to provide some motherly care for her. Knitting also keeps my nervous energy under control. Knitting is a blessing from God. I am next going to knit for charity as a way of giving back all of the blessings I have received from God. I used to knit preemie caps for the local hospital so I think I'll start there.

The last entry from Anne Shayne on the Mason Dixon knitting blog answers a fundamental question of why we knit. By knitting we create a problem solving situation. I can mostly solve knitting problems (mostly might be stretching it-throwing knitting across the room can be cathartic if nothing else) but I can't solve my mother's cancer. I can't repair our past relationship but I can knit something for her comfort. Or I can realize that there is nothing more that I can do and move on to knitting for the new baby at our church. Knitting is all about the future. It's all about moving along to the next little problem such as learning a new technique or pattern. Sometimes the solution is to rip back the knitting and pretend like the problem knitting never happened. That's the only area of my life in which I can undo a mistake and turn the stuff of life into something completely different.

My best knitting is done in silence to the rhythm of my own thoughts and feelings with the cat curled up next to me and a cup of coffee within reach. Knitting is something I do mainly for myself so that I may produce something positive out of the stress in my life. Hopefully I can pass the item on to a loved one or a stranger and let them know that someone took time to make sure they are buffered from the harsh reality of life.

Thursday, July 30, 2009

Summer Chevron

This sweater pattern has been driving me around the bend (Summer Chevron from "More Big Girl Knits"). I'm not sure whether to keep ripping out and restarting or whether to give up on the whole thing. I am a bit obssesive compulsive and sometimes I just don't know when to call it a day.

The problem is with the row guage. The chevron pattern knits up too short if I follow directions even with a size 10 US needle (pattern calls for 8US). Looking on Ravelry, other people seem to have had this problem too. When I alter the pattern by knitting more rows, then the underarms are too low when you knit the sides on argghhh...

I think I need to step away from it and pick up my quilt. At least there are no fitting issues with quilts. When you work on a quilt it gets done.

The sun is shining again after days of rain. My lovely teenage daughter is at home doing laundry (I hope). I'm at work, obviously not working, as I'm writing this. Life is good.

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Finally Some Color

My little salute to Canada Day and the Fourth of July; red and white for Canada and a blue pot added for America.

My peonies have still not bloomed and here we are into July. All I've got are daisies and petunias for my gardening efforts. The summer is unusually late even for northern Canada.
Here is my daughter in the finished Daily Sweater from Knitting Outside the Lines. There are a rather alarming number of stitch increases in the pattern when beginning the cuff and hem ribbing. Even on smaller needles both edges ended up wavy. I'm thinking they might shrink in the wash and the increases will keep the cuffs from stretching from wear. My daughter thinks its nice and comfortable so I might knit one for myself (1824 cotton, color 404).

Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Still Waiting For Summer

The grass is finally starting to turn green and the fruit trees are finally flowering in northern Canada. I'm still waiting on my peonies to mature enough to bloom however and the water is still too cold to swim in at the lake. I know this because I almost froze my ankles and feet off trying to help husband launch the fishing boat on the weekend. I think kids would chance it. They don't seem to feel the cold water at all.

Here is the second quilt I ever made (13 years ago). I had no money so used whatever fabric I had on hand. It is machine quilted but now that I've rescued it from the linen closet I think I'll add a little more hand quilting.

These are our new deck chair cushions which husband picked out. At first I was a little annoyed that I hadn't been consulted but I think he picked the right ones. Quite nice for Canadian Tire merchandise.

Tuesday, June 16, 2009


My next quilting project is a medallion quilt that I'm designing as I go (on the left). The sweater is from the book "Mason Dixon Knitting Outside the Lines". I am knitting it with 1824 Cotton. The pattern is knit from the top down making fitting (and finishing) a snap.

Monday, June 15, 2009

First Entry

This is the beginning of my knitting, quilting, sewing blog. I love things that are folky, primitive old fashioned or rustic. I'm on a mission to "feather my nest" with hand-made items. Our home is quite the hodge podge of antiques, modern furniture, and modern art.

The irony is that all this "feathering" is happening at a very odd time in my life. My daughter is ironically going to boarding school just as I am having more time to create the kinds of things we both love. She also loves old fashioned, rustic things and is quite a good little knitter and sewer (just finished her first sock, and it fits!). Our dream is to live in a house filled with home made items.

I'm hoping that she'll check out my creative diary every once in a while so she can see what Mom is up to. With this hope, I will be addressing my blog entries to Dear Lyndy starting in September. Even if she doesn't visit very often it will make me feel more connected with her and I'd love others to visit as well. Hopefully I'll have something worthwhile to share.