Freshly Re-Finished Friday

As I was returning from vacation (literally as I re acquired Canadian cell coverage) I got a text from my sister asking if I could fix this:

Apparently my three year old nephew insisted on continuing to wear them. Darning has never been a skill of mine, but since this wasn’t technically darning, I thought I’d give it a try. My theory was simple; I’d rip back to the orange and re-knit the toe. I added a lifeline (dental floss) before inserting the needles.

Things were going along pretty well until I remembered one critical detail: I had woven in the ends of the orange yarn making it pretty much impossible to pick up the stitches evenly.  I ended up picking up the last snd second last rows and double knitting the stitches where possible. It doesn’t look that pretty from the inside:

But the outside looks almost normal.

Hopefully they’ll pass my nephew’s inspection and continue to be a favorite pair of socks.

I’m wondering if you have any tips for knitting repairs?

(Linking to HardKnitLife’s Freshly Finished Friday.)

Feeling Cold from Coldwater Cowboys

Coming from a fishing family, I was really excited last year when I heard a reality show was being made about fishing in Canada.  I’m a big fan of Deadliest Catch.  While we don’t have a king crab fishery around here (it’s mainly an inshore fishery) there are some aspects that are universal: bad weather, spotty catch, regulations.   I feel like I’ve learned about the fishery there.  The fishermen are “characters”; they have bad days and bad seasons.  Their real life enters the story; you feel like you know them.  It makes it fun to watch and root for your favourite.

I was anxious to see the East Coast match up.  We certainly have no shortage of fishermen “characters”.  There are different fisheries that would have excitement and drama that would make good tv.  Most of all, the fishery suffers from an image problem: it’s perceived by many as the employer of last resort.  “If all else fails, you can always get a job as a fisherman“.  That may be partially true, but the fishery also provides good paying jobs and is a strong economic driver in coastal communities across the Atlantic Provinces.  There are very successful fishermen who are professional; they are proud of what they do for a living.

To say I was disappointed in Cold Water Cowboys doesn’t quite cover it.  While I’m sure these fishermen make successful fishing trips, you certainly couldn’t tell by watching the show.  Every other scene is the fish being lost from a net, the gear is set improperly, the set is missed, or something breaks down.  While these things happen to every fisherman at some point, it doesn’t happen every trip, every time you leave the wharf.  Instead of looking like professional fishermen who are somewhat successful at their careers, they look like stumbling buffoons that you wonder how they ever get a boat away from the wharf and back again. Instead of improving the image of the fishery, in my opinion it’s setting it back.

I’m not from Newfoundland.  I know a little about their fisheries and it feels like such a lost opportunity to showcase the different types of fisheries (capelin, shrimp, crab) how they are managed (quota, competitive, seasons) what are the challenges in each (stock abundance, license conditions).  I’ve talked abou the excitement of opening day in the lobster fishery here; are there similar events in these fisheries?  There are big issues within the fishery (access for new entrants, decreased prices since the economic downturn, changes within fisheries management and enforcement, changing vessel regulations) – how are they impacting what happens on the water?  The potential for episodes that are  interesting and don’t play into the stereotypical version of the fishery are boundless.  Instead, each week we watch the same type of scenes over and over.

When I watch “Deadliest Catch” I think “Wow, I could never do that!”  When I watch “Coldwater Cowboys” I snort think, “Even I could do that”. I know in reality I couldn’t; but I wonder: “shouldn’t a reality show offer at least a glimmer of reality?”

What I Knit on My Winter Vacation

When I pack for any type of trip I always seriously overestimate how much knitting time I’ll have.  For an extended trip like a vacation, there’s also the question of what I’ll feel like knitting over that duration, while keeping the projects small enough to fit in my suitcase.


At the beginning of my vacation, my yarn cabinet (yes, I made a yarn cabinet in my vacation bedroom) looked like this:



I “may” have picked up some yarn:




But I also knit a few things like dishcloths and these mittens:



(My made-up pattern in Willow Yarns Daily Worsted Tiger Lily)


So by the end of vacation, my yarn cabinet looked like this:




I’m wondering if you over pack yarn for travel?

It looks kind of kooky

Today I discovered that while I THOUGHT I could knit 3 dishcloths from one ball of Knit Picks Dishie, my reality was that I can knit ALMOST 3 dishcloths from one ball of Dishie.  As I inched closer to the end of my ball and closer to that realization, I mentally shrugged, decided it was just going to be used for washing dishes, and finished in another colour.  My 7 year old niece kept coming by to check on my progress declared at one point that it looked “kind of kooky”.

Indeed it does.  I remembered my grandmother making similar “kooky” dishcloths with her leftover yarn with little rhyme or reason to the colour choices.  (This could also be related to her eyesight issues; my brother has a blue sweater with a purple arm which she thought was the same colour). As this was before I started knitting, I couldn’t imagine why you would do something like that; they were just scraps of yarn. (My teenage snobby-ism may have been at play as well.)  They were distributed to family members only.  I thnk there’s one at my office she gave me before she died.

Now, I get it.  Whether it’s my hoarding tendency or a knitter thing, I save my scraps of yarn. I have great intentions of doing scrappy dishcloths (planned with thought, not by accident on the beach). I have the requisite sock yarn blanket started and I’ve done a number of worsted scrappy-striped hats. 

Today’s dishcloth though felt more like a right of passage; a link to my grandmother as she knit up her scraps of yarn.

I’m wondering if you save yarn scraps and what you do with them?