Tag Archives: Knitting

The best thing about being retired

I don’t know if it really is the best thing, but is pretty darn nice!

Perhaps it is symptomatic of old age. Since I don’t perform according to anyones’s expectations I find I can wander hither, thither, and yon.

So I set goals and then I might or might not work on them. When an idea floats by, we’ll, I just may head in that direction!

Currently it is my beloved knitting and audio books. It doesn’t take much to make me happy! Yesterday I wrote about this on A World Apart as below.

Feeling a little craftey

There are lots of things I could have done today. I mean I actually have a list, though I am not sure where it is.

There seems to be a fair bit of clutter, and taking the few minutes to tidy, a thought that sort of wafted across my mind, then evaporated, was just not doable.

So what had my attention for the last fourteen hours?

Why knitting of course. And listening to audio books from my library. Actually, the needle and yarn urge started a few days ago, and in the last eight days I have listened to;

Eight Perfect Murders by Peter Swanson

The Ink Black Heart by Robert Galbraith (JKR)

The Cruelest Month by Louise Penny

The Madness of Crowds by Louise Penny 

All the Devils Are Here by Louise Penny (can you tell I am getting prepped for her newest one that has just been released today I think called A WORLD OF CURIOSITIES.

I am happiest knitting and listening.

I just finished this one for a friend and started working on another when something else caught my eye. (You know me, waylaid by another flashy thing)


So that is what I am working on for the moment. Shouldn’t take too long then its back to the hat I love.

So from North of 43 I bid you adieu as I hasten back to the drawing board, I mean the needles and yarn

Six Word Saturday

Never give up. Never give in.

If you live by these words does it mean you are tenacious, determined, or just plain stubborn? Is there a time when one should give up? I wonder if when I am most determined not to give up is exactly when I should.

Let me explain. I am an accomplished knitter and over the years have turned out wonderful objects. I do not say this from ego but just as a fact. The fact is if you practice something long enough and continually challenge yourself you will become accomplished.

A few months ago I completed a sweater pattern that is complicated but has become a favourite, and I have done a few of these. What I have never done is a project requiring considerable pattern adjustment expressly for a client. For money.

I have toiled mightily. And retooled. (If there is any such word)

Equally talented spinners of the ‘Yarn’ have advised me to give up. Give in.

This I cannot do. It has become a PERSONAL battle. Me and the yarn. One of us will win.

This is a previous one, done to pattern and not requiring personal adjustments. I knit because I enjoy it and have come to the conclusion that once you do it ‘for money’ the fun seems to go out of it. So for now I shall not up nor give in. I will probably give the lady back her money and make a gift of the sweater. Somehow that thought fits.

It occurs to me…

*Two months since NY. Resolutions (called goals by some). Where are you on yours?

Last year I had an 80% success on my goals and pleased with the result set three more goals for 2019.

By January 22nd I scrapped all three and did a reset. Important to do this if you want to succeed. Sometimes our goals are just a wish list. It occurs to me the key to success lies in assessment and action. We either continue or reset. I reset to four measurable, attainable goals that deal with Finance, Healthy Eating, Business Development, and Writing. I did not just scrap them but took the time and documented exactly why they were being scrapped and what was replacing them.

* Business development is really quite a small thing, but I decided to turn my hobby time into a teeny tiny business. Having spent the last eight years in retirement doing what I loved, it occurred to me that I could assign an actual worth to what I do. So GCK was born. GrannyChrisKnits is being developed. Baby steps. GrannyChrisKnits@mail.com. Recent projects in demand:

Gryffindor has a new 11 year old Wizard

This hat is a warm chic favourite.

This sweater in both bulky and non bulky are in great demand

Lots of hats and mittens

*The Writing goal took a bid of serious contemplation. A love of words and intriguing story lines were not enough to drive me forward. My one underlying thought for this year is, ‘Enjoy what you do, and Do what you enjoy” I found I have a skill at reviewing books and articles and can present thoughtful and at times witty observations. I discovered this when I joined a Canadian Authors group where we write but also critique the works of other members. During discussions at month’s end I found I expressed some insights that surprised me. I stopped feeling guilty at what I had not written, and started to be excited at what I was reading and doing. I also belong to a book club that meets once a month called, Crime and Coffee.

My progress in all things this year was held up a bit due to the loss of a dear dear friend and Aunt who passed January 23rd. It occurs to me grief uses a lot of energy and whilst I have continued to move forward it has been at a slower pace. Her memory is an inspiration. Nuff said on that.

* I found myself wondering this week what the value of apology is. Aside from a public show of regret, that may not be at all sincere, but is required for political purpose (as we have seen on this week’s news), what truly is the purpose? If I feel guilt about something I did, and I approach the wounded party (no matter how much time has passed) and I beg forgiveness, am I really trying to make the other person feel better or just myself? It occurs to me that if I express regret at causing hurt that is fine. But if it is an apology that ends with, ‘Please please forgive me.’ Then I think that is a problem. I guess it is important to say you are sorry but it is not okay to saddle the wounded person with a demand for forgiveness. Hmm What think you?

*It occurred to me this week that Drama is over rated in our lives. I am wondering if great excitement is just an energy sapper. Spewers of drama are exhausting and I think sometimes the Message is lost is the Swirl of Energy. I recently read ‘Born A Crime’ by Noah Trevor about his life in South Africa. It was raw, real, and by being without great drama it encouraged serious thought and consideration. An excellent book.

I’ve been watching a lace curtain of snow fall outside my window this morning. It occurs to me that Spring will be most welcome.

On to another week. March 1st came in like a lamb. It occurs to me it might go out like a lion. Then again it might not,


I love every comment. Every word is True True True. I been knitting and cross stitching for decades and it only took forty years to become truly relaxing. When I was younger it was the Challenge of Creation, now, complicated patterns assure me I am compos mentis and avoiding dementia with each stitch. Each time I have to undo work I remind myself I am learning Patience. It is a necessary activity when watching TV so I do not feel I am wasting time. I give very few gifts as I have discovered not everyone appreciates the effort or the result. But I happily create for anyone who wants a creation. Thank you for an amusing poignant post!! Chris (AKA GrannyChrisKnits)


“You should take up knitting; it’s so relaxing”.

Those were the words of a former friend, whom I once mistakenly assumed had my best interests at heart. Now I rack my brain trying to understand what I could have done to her to cause her determination to turn my life into nerve pressuring misery. Knitting: Relaxing? Therapeutic? Really?

Trying to be open and fair minded, I consider the possibility that she has a good idea. As I look around wherever I go, I see women in lectures, on trains, and in recitals peacefully knitting. They appear to be relaxed as they demonstrate the art of multitasking. How hard can a little knitting be? I wonder.

You’ve always liked challenges, I tell myself, and I decide to try knitting. I’ll start with something small. Yes, I can do this! As I think about it I get enthusiastic about learning a…

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Preserving History – Or How I Learned to Love ‘The Big Lebowski’

Jeff Bridges The Dude
Jeff Bridges The Dude

The sixth decade in life is rather exciting for me.  It is a time when I have pretty much suspended judgement on matters previously assigned to the ‘not interested bin’, ‘it assaults my sensitivities bin’, or the ‘oh, that’s so gross bin’.

Interesting enough, this new open mindedness is a result of continued learning from, no, not higher education, but younger education.  From my children and their children, from the youngsters with the ear buds – a daintier form of ear phones – attached to whatever device that force their eyes downward in the presence of other humans. Those in their thirties and forties are a constant source of education and insight in many ways.

See, way back when, and here you can insert almost any decade in the twentieth century or even to the present day and still be in the ball park, and even though I flaunted propriety in many ways, there was one thing I would not do, and that one thing was an unbreakable rule.  Never ever force myself to sit through a movie or show where the ‘F’ word was the main supporting structure in every sentence.

Now this explains why, when the movie came out in 1998 I never saw The Big Lebowski written and directed by those famous Coen brothers, Joel and Noel who have between the two of them an impressive list of film credits as writers, directors, and producers.

My introduction to this amazing movie came when as I continued on my creative knitting streak (posted previously) I decided to make my youngest son a fisherman knit sweater, something he had long admired.  While chatting to my DIL a couple of months ago and discussing patterns, she asked if I would like to make my son his absolute dream sweater.   The Dude.

my son models his new sweater side view
my son models his new sweater side view

It doesn’t take long these days to check information so I quickly googled The Dude Sweater and so started my education.  It didn’t matter that I had not seen the movie or that one of my favorite actors starred in the film.  What mattered is that I was looking at a my next project.

The search for the pattern took a little time but finally took me to Ravelry.com a most wonderful site which then led to the brilliant Andrea Rangel who has the greatest pattern selections for almost everythinI stayed true to Andrea Rangel’s pattern (except for enlarging the collar) using the recommended yarn which is Cascade Yarns Ecological Wool a rather expensive but well worth it yarn.

I love doing this pattern and am happy to reproduce for any who may wish to purchase it.  It is somewhat costly but if you are interested in learning the details please contact me at cbar_k@yahoo.ca or visit Ravelry.com

Back view - looks pretty good on my boy I think
Back view – looks pretty good on my boy I think

my shy son The Dude sweater
my shy son The Dude sweater