Saturday, August 20, 2011

It was a Rainy Day...

...perfect for doing paperwork!

I prepared some new and renewing membership cards for mailing, and sent out another Level 1 package today, and took a look at my ad for the magazine, which is past due for an overhaul.

Speaking of overhauls, the website is also past due for one, and while I was working today I had an idea to get the gallery updated: Ask our members for photos! So, here's the request: send me low-resolution photographs of your knitting projects, especially ones you've made from patterns published in Knit Together or A Needle Pulling Thread. Send them to my website e-mail which is on my contact page at with the subject "Photos for CGK".

Photos that have 'models' will need to be accompanied by permission forms -- I'll provide one. I'm very cautious about putting up photos of minor children, so permission forms are necessary.

The gardening (ahem, weeding) continues, but it's worth it! This rose is called Grenada, and it is in its second blooming. I have also photographed my peace rose, but don't have a photo on the hard drive yet. The buttercream daisies I bought at Zehrs are putting on an awesome show, too!

I'm also trying to get some knitting done. My computer is getting old and slow, so I keep a pair of socks (for Dad) on the desk to work on while I'm waiting for uploads, downloads and overloads!

This Faroese shawl is now finished -- the ends have been woven in, and it's actually already doubled as a blanket when I fall asleep in front of the TV.

The other project on the needles is a hemp top with 3/4 length sleeves designed by Lanaknits Designs in British Columbia. I'm still ensuring I support our Canadian Knitting designers.

One day in the office, though, is the tip of the iceberg! There's still much to do, including finish planning for the knitting classes I'll be leading through Parks and Recreation starting in mid-September.

I have to shut down the computer soon, though, because there's a salsa party tonight!

Sunday, July 24, 2011

Where Does the Time Go?

I can't believe it's been almost two months since my last post. The last time I posted was before a rain. We did have a fair bit of rain at the end of May and into June, but July has been drier than February in Arizona! Even the rain that has fallen in the last two days has been south west of us. But the weather channel is promising rain next week (When I'll be back at work).

The gardens have grown up, and nicely. This ground-level photo of the west "curb" bed was glorious. The galardia (centre in front of stump) is still in bloom. The geranium is very happy, and the butter-cream daisy (on right) has a new batch of blooms. I've learned that the wood "sculpture"in the centre this bed is actually a piece of a chestnut tree that was in the back yard. The delphiniums can just be seen peeking out from behind the "stump".

The entryway bed has grown up, too. It's hard to tell from this photo, but the bee balm/ monarda with the red blooms is over 4 feet high. What a show! I found the bench at a garage sale, and have enjoyed many mornings looking out toward a nearby park.

I've taken literally hundreds of photos of the gardens this year, 8 of which have made it into matching frames on the living room wall.

This summer has been all about preventative maintenance on the house: Dad came in and pressure washed the front porch, back deck and garden shed, then I watersealed the decks and stained and painted the garden shed. Yesterday we black-topped the driveway. Next summer, I'll be able to kick back and relax!

Here are before and after shots of the garden shed:

This is after the pressure washing

and this is after the staining and painting:

The only thing left is to add a finishing touch of a happy face on the left wall. :-)

All this has happened during two weeks off over the first three weeks of the month. Once the postal strike was over, the Summer issue of A Needle Pulling Thread was mailed out. Renewal notices for this issue will be following soon.

Another Canadian Guild of Knitters undertaking was to mark yet another Level 1 package. It's heading back out in tomorrow's mail.

The vacation wasn't all work: Zoey spent a couple days in day care so Mummy could shop! When you have a dog with separation anxiety, it's a real luxury to get to spend 3 hours browsing through Wal-mart! The two of us went to an arts and craft show in Bracebridge where we spent a little time in the Greenelf Wild Woolens booth. Today, the last day of vacation, I took Zoey (aka the Ming Princess) to the Barrie waterfront where she got a walk, and I got some knitting done. When we heard the skirl of the bagpipes, I moved us to a better vantage point and enjoyed some celtic music. Today was one of the most temperate days of the vacation, and it felt good to get out and enjoy some of it, now that the painting is over!

Sunday, May 29, 2011

Before the Rains Came

The holiday weekend enabled me to get the gardens in before the rains came. This bed, one of five in the back yard, was made more colourful by adding the mum Marie bought me when I separated last fall, a new rose bush (Grenada), and some yellow and cream marigolds. The bush in the centre was thought to be a standard lilac, but turns out it is a standard hydrangea (no wonder it isn't blooming yet)! The chrysanthemum will bloom about the same colour as the ground phlox in the background.

The front gardens were planted on Monday. This one is the west curb bed, with the entryway bed showing in the background. Already blessed with sedum, echinacea, coral bells and this very cool tree 'sculpture', I added a buttercream daisy, a red geranium (behind tree part), some orange asiatic lilies and some gold day lilies, and a pretty gold mum (on the right.) The shade on this garden is courtesy the flowering crab apple tree that belongs to the city.

Speaking of the flowering crab, a few of its branches can be seen at the top of the photo below.

This is the east curb bed which came equipped with a Lady's Mantle, Liatrus, rambling rose (all on right), some echinacea, ground phlox, a toad house, and sedum. Last weekend's additions are the hosta at the front left, flanked by two harvest moon echinaceas, a gold day lily, and a red geranium (fleck of red in top corner).

I'm learning that at this age, four hours of gardening requires a nap of some sort afterwards. That really cuts into the knitting time!

Speaking of knitting, I now have a shrug and a ruffled scarf off the needles. The former needs blocking yet, and the latter just needs two ends woven in. This week I'll be working on knitting samples for the upcoming article in the Fall 2011 issue of A Needle Pulling Thread.

And, speaking of A Needle Pulling Thread, the summer issue went to the printer's last week, and will be in the mail by the middle of June -- hopefully by then we'll be having sunnier days and be able to enjoy reading it on the back deck in a chaise longue with a cool drink on the side!

Monday, May 16, 2011

Happy Knitting

May 7 was a special day here at Canadian Guild of Knitters. It was the birthday of the lady who taught me to knit (my paternal grandmother), and, since it fell on a Saturday this year, I decided to celebrate!

I invited a few knitters I know in my home town and brought in a yummy banana cake with cream cheese icing. We sat, and chatted, and knitted, and ate cake, of course.

Sunday, the 8th was Mother's Day, which I spent at my brother's farm with our mom, dad and sister, and his wife's family. Zoey got two walks in the country that day! Happy girl!

After a weekend of socializing, I got cracking here in the office again this past weekend. Saturday was a paperwork day -- filing, processing membership renewals and generally reducing the size of the paper stacks. Sunday was KAP day: I got nearly two of the three packages that have arrived in the past month marked. All three will be done and back on their way home after the long weekend.

Of course, some time will be devoted to the gardens as well. Hopefully the rain will stop long enough to get the lawn mowed!

Sunday, April 3, 2011

Hello, Spring!

Spring is teasing us along. Yesterday I got to spend a good two hours outside in a chilly breeze, tidying up the back yard and teasing out the front flower beds. I filled 3 paper yard bags! This is going to be big, but once the initial raking and pruning are done, it will come down to evening primping on a 'yard tour' after work, if my old habits are anything to go by. Last weekend I bought some perennials to add the colour described in my last post. I've got some of them sprouting inside to give them the jump start in the garden. None of them will bloom this summer, but they'll be healthy! Friday, I received another Level 1 submission, and got a couple more hours of edits in on Level 2. Today, I've cleaned a few to-dos out of my inbox and will spend the afternoon on Level 2. My, it's good to be back! Last night, I got to go dancing again... I've taken a few salsa lessons, and am trying how to figure out how to keep doing them without the additional dog sitting costs crippling my effort! I. just. want. to. dance! So much to do, and the same time span as always! Sigh.

Sunday, March 13, 2011

And we Danced

It's been a busy few weeks here at CGK. The mailing list for the Spring issue was finalized, and they are all in the mail now.

The renewal notices for the past two issues have been sent out to our members, and I'm waiting for renewals to return.

A test knitting package for Level 2 that was received just before the turmoil in the Fall was finally marked and returned. From it, I've made some edits to the introduction, before sending out more of the Level 2 test packages.

Speaking of test knitting, I learned that the potholder I had test knitted for the summer issue wa made in the theme colours for the spring issue, so I've re-knitted it in the summer colours, which, coincidentally, will work in my new kitchen, so all is not lost. Carla will get to keep the spring coloured potholders, and I'll get to keep the Coppertone Summer and brown coloured ones! Plans are in the works to make a complementary oven mitt using double (2-sided/ jacquard) knitting technique for publication.

Also for ANPT, I've finished my article for the Summer issue. This one will focus on yarn nomenclature. It's provided an opportunity for me to put together some information I've wanted to consolidate for years.

And, of course, it's time to prepare everything for the tax season, which is how the lion's share of today was spent.

Next on the to do list are website updates (long past due), writing the article for the Fall and Festive, 2011 issues of A Needle Pulling Thread, and finishing mailing list updates.

I'm trying to get as much done as possible before gardening season starts, as I've got my work cut out for me with my new yard. The photo shows one side of the back yard... there's a matching garden on the other side, and 5 more beds at the front of the house! I'm hoping to get some colour into all those greens. There may be some spring bulbs... I don't know. This summer is going to be a bit like a gardener's Christmas, so I plan to stick close to home to see what happens!

Summer vacation plans include preparing class material for the parks and rec classes I'll be starting in my home town in September, and getting a warp on the weaving loom, now that I have it in a useable position. I had hoped to go to the East Coast, and I've got a bead on Knit East, and might be able to squeak a week there the end of September. That would be GREAT. It would be better if I could stay long enough to take in Celtic Colours the week after, but I'm pretty sure the work schedule won't permit that! Someday, I'll get there.

Of course, all work and no play makes Cynthia a dull girl, so Friday night Zoey got a sleepover at the dog sitters while her mommy went dancing. It was a positive ending to yet another rollercoaster week.
Speaking of all work and no play, it's time to turn off this computer, make a cup of tea, and go do some knitting.

Sunday, February 13, 2011

Spring ANPT and Level 2

Happy Valentines Day, knitters!

The Spring, 2010 issue of A Needle Pulling Thread is now at the printer; this weekend was spent working on updates to the membership list in preparation for the mail-out.

With all that has gone on over the past few months, I have not sent out renewals to members whose memberships lapsed between August and October, 2010. For these members, the Festive, 2010 issue of A Needle Pulling Thread was the last one of their membership. This weekend I began preparing renewal notices for this group. As the renewals come in, the Spring issue will be mailed out to those members who fall into this group.

Another sign that I'm getting caught up with my workload is that Level 2 has been placed back in its proper location -- on the front burner! It was never intended to simmer on the back burner this long. The target now is to have another batch of exercises tested this spring (guess what I'm doing on the new Ontario February holiday), and get it released this summer.

There's still much to do: I've got several pieces to write for upcoming issues of A Needle Pulling Thread, which also got deferred over the past few months, and I've got a pattern simmering in the appropriate lobe for an oven mitt in reversible knitting.

It feels unbelievably good to be getting back on track.

Sunday, January 23, 2011

What? A clean Desk?

It took two more weekends than planned, but I have my beautiful stack of mail all ready to go, and my desk is clean, except for the to do list. I still have to do a website update and there's always the next article!
When I went to mail three more Knitting Accreditation Programs, I found that I need to do another printing, so it will be another day or two before those packages get into the mail.

Kate, my editor at A Needle Pulling Thread has had me busy test knitting some felted potholders for an upcoming issue of ANPT. Here's a peek:
Pretty, eh?
Yes, that's Zoey, aka the Ming Princes, aka GirlyGirl, aka the light of my life in the top left corner. She's keeping an eye on things, as always.
I'm really developing a weekend routine again. Today, I even got some of my projects updated on Ravelry!
I never found the knit-along I was seeking, so I've decided to continue on with the 'finishitis' projects, although I have started a pair of socks for Dad.
Yesterday I joined my friends at the Spinner's Guild and on Wednesday I hope to return to the local knitting guild.
The re-adjustment continues...aaaah...