Monday, 30 March 2020

Book ~ "Strangers" (2020) C.L. Taylor

From Goodreads ~ Ursula, Gareth and Alice have never met before.

Ursula thinks she killed the love of her life.

Gareth’s been receiving strange postcards.

And Alice is being stalked.

None of them are used to relying on others - but when the three strangers’ lives unexpectedly collide, there’s only one thing for it: they have to stick together. Otherwise, one of them will die.

Three strangers, two secrets, one terrifying evening.

Ursula is a courier, barely making a living delivering packages.  Gareth is a security guard at a mall.  He lives at home with his mother who has dementia.  Alice is divorced with an adult daughter, a manager of a clothing store and is lonely and wants to date.  They are strangers who are brought together one fateful night.  The story then jumps back a week and we get to know them and what's going on in their lives and how they ended up together.

This is the first book I've read by this author and I liked it.  I liked the writing style and there were lots of twists and turns ... some turned out to be innocent, which was fun.  It is written in third person perspective in Ursula, Gareth and Alice's voice.  The author is English and the book is set in England so there are lots of references that I'm not used to or haven't heard before.  As a head's up, there is swearing.

I wasn't crazy about Alice.  Considering her age, I found her too desperate and needy.  She'd only gone out with a fella named Simon a couple times but was calling and texting him like crazy, and discussing every nuance of their "relationship" with her friend and daughter (who both told her to chill out).  I didn't like Ursula all that much in the beginning but once her story was revealed I understood why she was the way she was.  I liked Gareth ... he had a lot going on.  His father had disappeared without a trace 20 years ago and Gareth is always looking for him in crowds.  His mother has dementia and refuses to go to a home ... he never knows what he's going to come home to.  She has started to receive postcards from her husband and Gareth is determined to find out who is messing with her.

I look forward to reading other books by this author.

Happy birthday, Muffin!

Happy 3rd birthday to my girl, Muffin!

Sunday, 29 March 2020

Men's knitted dorm boots

I knitted another pair of men's medium dorm boots last evening and this afternoon.  I had adapted this pattern so I had less seams to sew up ... I put them on circular needles/double pointed needles when I started the "foot".

I used Bernat Softee Chunky Yarn (6) in True Gray and Bernat Softee Chunky Yarn (6) in Gray Ragg and a 6.5mm needles.


Abbreviations:
  • k = knit
  • p = purl
  • yo = yarn over sl-1 = slip one
  • PSSO = pass slipped stitch over
  • p2tog = purl 2 together
  • k2tog = knit 2 together
  • ssk = slip, slip, knit
  • WS = wrong side
  • RS = right side
  • PM = place marker
  • Rep = repeat

Men's sizes:
Sm (8-9), M (9.5-10.5), Lg (11-12), XL (13)

Starting with sole:
  • Cast on 52(55, 57, 59) stitches.
  • Row 1: Knit.
  • Row 2: K1, yo, k24(25,26,27), yo, k2(3,3,3), yo, k24(25,26,27), yo, k1. [56(59,61,63) sts]
  • Row 3 and all odd rows: Knit. *knit the yo’s through the back of the loop. 
  • Row 4: K2, yo, k24(25,26,27), yo, k4(5,5,5), yo, k24(25,26,27), yo, k2. [60(63,65,67)sts]
  • Row 6: K3, yo, k24(25,26,27), yo, k6(7,7,7), yo, k24(25,26,27), yo, k3. [64(67,69,71)sts]
  • Row 8: K4, yo, k24(25,26,27), yo, k8(9,9,9), yo, k24(25,26,27), yo, k4. [68(71,73,75) sts]
  • Row 10: K5, yo, K24(25,26,27), yo, k10(11,11,11), yo, k24(25,26,27), yo, k5. [72(75,77,79)sts]
  • Row 12: Size Sm ONLY: K6, yo, k(24), yo, k6, yo, k6, yo, (k24), yo, k6. [77 sts]
  • Row 12: Size M ONLY: K6, yo, k32, yo, k31, yo, k6. [78 sts]
  • Row 12: Size L ONLY: K6, yo, k to last 6 sts, yo, k6. [79 sts]
  • Row 12: Size XL ONLY: K39, yo, k40. [80 sts]
  • Row 13: Knit (knit any yo's through the back of the loop)

Foot - put on a circular needle or four double pointed needles and work in the round
  • Row 1: Knit
  • Row 2: (WS) K34(34,34,34,), PM, k9(10,11,12), PM, k34(34,34,34,).
  • Row 3: K27(27,27,27), ssk 2x, k3tog, k9(10,11,12), sl-1, k2tog, psso, k2tog 2x, k27(27,27,27). [69(70,71,72) sts)
  • Row 4: Knit
  • Row 5: K23(23,23,23), ssk 2x, k3tog, k9(10,11,12), sl-1, k2tog, psso, k2tog 2x, k23(23,23,23). [61(62,63,64)sts]
  • Row 6: Knit
  • Row 7: K35(36,37,38), ssk, turn. [60(61,62,63) sts]
  • Row 8: Sl-1, p9(10,11,12), p2tog, turn. [59(60,61,62) sts]
  • Row 9: Sl-1, k9(10,11,12), ssk, turn. [58(59,60,61) sts]
  • Row 10: Sl-1, p9(10,11,12), p2tog, turn. [57(58,59,60) sts]
  • Rows 11-26: Repeat rows 9 and 10. [41(42,43,44) sts]
  • Row 27: (RS) Sl-1, k9(10,11,12), ssk, DON’T TURN, k14(14,14,14). [40(41,42,43) sts]
  • Row 28: K14(14,14,14), k2tog, k10, k14(14,14,14). [39(40,41,42) sts]
  • Row 29: Size S/M ONLY: (Removing markers as you come to them) Knit. Now proceed to row 32.
  • Row 29: Size L/XL ONLY: (Removing markers as you come to them) Knit.
  • Row 30: Size L/XL ONLY: Knit
  • Row 31: Size L/XL ONLY: Knit
  • Row 32: K1, k2tog, k2tog, k across to last 5 sts, k2tog, k2tog, k1. [35(36,37,38) sts]
  • Row 33-36: Knit

Ribbed Cuff
  • Row 37: Sizes S/L ONLY: [k1,p1] 8(-,8,-)x more, k2tog, p1, [k1,p1] to end. [34(-,36,-) sts]
  • Row 37: Size M/XL ONLY: [k1, p1] to end.
  • Rows 38-45: Work 8 rows of 1x1 rib.

Bind off loosely.

I turned the slippers inside out and sewed the seams. Weave in loose ends.

Friday, 27 March 2020

Women's knitted dorm boots

I finished knitting a pair of ladies medium dorm boots tonight.  I found the pattern here and adapted them so I had less seams to sew up ... I put them on circular needles/double pointed needles when I started the "foot".

I used Bernat Softee Chunky Yarn (6) in True Gray and Bernat Softee Chunky Yarn (6) in Gray Ragg and a 6.5mm needles.


Abbreviations:
  • k = knit
  • p = purl
  • yo = yarn over sl-1 = slip one
  • PSSO = pass slipped stitch over
  • p2tog = purl 2 together
  • k2tog = knit 2 together
  • ssk = slip, slip, knit
  • WS = wrong side
  • RS = right side
  • PM = place marker
  • Rep = repeat
Women's sizes:
Sm (6-7.5), M/L (8-9), XL (9.5-10.5)

Starting with Sole:
  • Cast on 47(50,52) sts using a long-tail method and with 2 strands held together.
  • Row 1: Knit.
  • Row 2: K1, yo, k22(23,24), yo, k1(2,2), yo, k22(23,24), yo, k1. [51(54,56) sts]
  • Row 3 and all odd rows: Knit. *knit the yo’s through the back of the loop.
  • Row 4: K2, yo, k22(23,24), yo, k3(4,4), yo, k22(23,24), yo, k2. [55(58,60)sts]
  • Row 6: K3, yo, k22(23,24), yo, k5(6,6), yo, k22(23,24), yo, k3. [59(62,64)sts]
  • Row 8: K4, yo, k22(23,24), yo, k7(8,8), yo, k22(23,24), yo, k4. [63(66,68) sts]
  • Row 10: K5, yo, k22(23,24), yo, k9(10,10), yo, k22(23,24), yo, k5. [67(70,72)sts]
  • Row 12: Size Sm ONLY: k6, yo, k22, yo, k11, yo, k22, yo, k6. [71sts]
  • Row 12: Sizes M/L & XL ONLY: K6, yo, k(23,24), yo, k6, yo, k6, yo, (k23,24), yo, k6. [75,77 sts]
  • Row 13: Sizes Sm & M/L proceed to #1 of foot.
  • Row 13: Size XL: Knit (knit the yo's through the back of the loop)

Foot - put on a circular needle or four double pointed needles and work in the round
  • Row 1: Size Sm ONLY: (RS) k34, k2tog, k35. (knit the yo's through the back of the loop) [70 sts]
  • Row 1: Size M/L ONLY: (RS) Knit (knit the yo’s through the back of the loop)
  • Row 1: Size XL ONLY: (RS) Knit
  • Row 2: (WS) K31(33,34), PM, k8(9,9), PM, k31(33,34).
  • Row 3: K24(26,27), ssk 2x, k3tog, k8(9,9), sl-1, k2tog, psso, k2tog 2x, k24(26,27). [62(67,69)sts)
  • Row 4: Knit
  • Row 5: K20(22,23), ssk 2x, k3tog, k8(9,9), sl-1, k2tog, psso, k2tog 2x, k20(22,23). 54(59,61)sts]
  • Row 6: Knit
  • Row 7: K31(34,35), ssk, turn. [53(58,60) sts]
  • Row 8: Sl-1, k8(9,9), p2tog, turn. [52(57,59) sts]
  • Row 9: Sl-1, k8(9,9), ssk, turn. [51(56,58) sts]
  • Row 10: Sl-1, p8(9,9), p2tog, turn. [50(55,57) sts]
  • Rows 11-26: Repeat rows 9 and 10. [34(39,41)sts]
  • Row 27: (RS) Sl-1, k8(9,9), ssk, DON’T TURN, k11(13,14). [33(38,40)sts]
  • Row 28: K10(13,14), k2tog, k21(23,24). [32(37,39) sts]
  • Row 29: Removing markers as you come to them, knit one row.
  • Row 30: Size Sm ONLY: K1, k2tog, k to last 3 sts, k2tog, k1. [30 sts].
  • Row 30: Sizes M/L and XL ONLY:  K1, k2tog, k2tog, k across to last 5 sts, k2tog, p2tog, p1 [33, 35sts]
  • Rows 31 and 32: Knit

Ribbed Cuff
  • Row 33: Size Sm ONLY: k1, p1 to end. Now go to row 36-42.
  • Row 33: Size M/L ONLY: [k1, p1] 8x, k2tog, p1, [k1, p1] to end. Now go to row 36-42. (32,34 sts)
  • Row 33&34: Size XL ONLY: Repeat rows 31 & 32 once more.
  • Row 35: Size XL ONLY: [k1, p1] 8x, k2tog, p1, [k1, p1] to end. (32,34 sts)
  • Rows 36-42: 1x1 rib.

Bind off loosely.

I turned the slipper inside out and sewed the seams. Weave in loose ends.

Thursday, 26 March 2020

Book ~ "One Good Reason: A Memoir of Addiction and Recovery, Music and Love" (2020) Séan McCann and Andrea Aragon

From Goodreads ~ In this deeply personal memoir, co-written with wife Andrea Aragon, singer-songwriter and renowned mental health, addiction, and recovery advocate Séan McCann leaves no stone unturned. Detailing, in powerful and lyrical prose, a childhood in Newfoundland indoctrinated in strict Catholic faith, the creation of the wildly successful Great Big Sea, his courtship and early marriage with Aragon, and the battle with alcoholism that nearly cost him everything, McCann offers readers a love story, a memoir of addiction and recovery, of young love and a strained marriage, of reaching international fame and rock bottom. But most of all, an honest, raw, and inspiring tribute to embracing that we are all worth saving.

At the heart of this insightful coming-of-recovery is McCann's exploration of the root cause of his alcoholism, a secret he kept until 2014 when he came out as a survivor of childhood sexual abuse. Aragon's parallel narrative offers a rare and intimate spousal perspective, making the memoir a nuanced and complex portrait of the effects of addiction on family.

Séan McCann is a singer and musician and founding member of Canadian band, Great Big Sea.   He left the band at the end of December 2013.  Andrea Aragon is his wife and mother of their two children.  This book is their story.

Séan was born and raised in St. John's, Newfoundland.  He and his family were Catholic and their priest befriended the family when he was in his teens.  This same priest sexually abused Séan, which has stayed with him for the rest of his life.  Not able to deal with what happened, Séan turned to alcohol and his dependency on it only increased over the years.  When he and his friends formed Great Big Sea and their popularity grew, they become known as a party band which encouraged Séan's lifestyle of drinking to excess.

Andrea is an American, the daughter of an alcoholic and had an unstable childhood.  After divorcing her first husband, she moved to Colorado to start over and find herself.  It was there that she met Séan after a Great Big Sea concert and there was a spark.  She eventually moved to Newfoundland to be with him, they got married and had two children.  As Séan's alcoholism grew worse, their marriage began to fall apart.  She eventually gave him an ultimatum ... quit drinking or she was moving back home to Minneapolis with the kids.  Happily he chose his family over liquor.  He has since embarked on a solo career and has become a mental health advocate.

I am/was a fan of Great Big Sea and have read band member Alan Doyle's two books so was interested in reading Séan's book.  The chapters alternate between Séan and Andrea's stories ... it took me a couple chapters to realize that.  If there is a guitar icon at the beginning of the chapter when it's Séan's voice and a heart when it's Andrea's voice.  I liked the writing style ... I found it honest.  It was interesting to get the two perspectives (Séan's and Andrea's) of the same events.

Wednesday, 25 March 2020

Women's knitted dorm boots

I finished knitting a pair of ladies medium dorm boots today.  I found the pattern here and adapted them so I had less seams to sew up ... I put them on circular needles/double pointed needles when I started the "foot".

I used Bernat Softee Chunky Yarn (6) in Gray Ragg and a 6.5mm needles.


Abbreviations:
  • k = knit
  • p = purl
  • yo = yarn over sl-1 = slip one
  • PSSO = pass slipped stitch over
  • p2tog = purl 2 together
  • k2tog = knit 2 together
  • ssk = slip, slip, knit
  • WS = wrong side
  • RS = right side
  • PM = place marker
  • Rep = repeat
Women's sizes:
Sm (6-7.5), M/L (8-9), XL (9.5-10.5)

Starting with Sole:
  • Cast on 47(50,52) sts using a long-tail method and with 2 strands held together.
  • Row 1: Knit.
  • Row 2: K1, yo, k22(23,24), yo, k1(2,2), yo, k22(23,24), yo, k1. [51(54,56) sts]
  • Row 3 and all odd rows: Knit. *knit the yo’s through the back of the loop.
  • Row 4: K2, yo, k22(23,24), yo, k3(4,4), yo, k22(23,24), yo, k2. [55(58,60)sts]
  • Row 6: K3, yo, k22(23,24), yo, k5(6,6), yo, k22(23,24), yo, k3. [59(62,64)sts]
  • Row 8: K4, yo, k22(23,24), yo, k7(8,8), yo, k22(23,24), yo, k4. [63(66,68) sts]
  • Row 10: K5, yo, k22(23,24), yo, k9(10,10), yo, k22(23,24), yo, k5. [67(70,72)sts]
  • Row 12: Size Sm ONLY: k6, yo, k22, yo, k11, yo, k22, yo, k6. [71sts]
  • Row 12: Sizes M/L & XL ONLY: K6, yo, k(23,24), yo, k6, yo, k6, yo, (k23,24), yo, k6. [75,77 sts]
  • Row 13: Sizes Sm & M/L proceed to #1 of foot.
  • Row 13: Size XL: Knit (knit the yo's through the back of the loop)

Foot - put on a circular needle or four double pointed needles and work in the round
  • Row 1: Size Sm ONLY: (RS) k34, k2tog, k35. (knit the yo's through the back of the loop) [70 sts]
  • Row 1: Size M/L ONLY: (RS) Knit (knit the yo’s through the back of the loop)
  • Row 1: Size XL ONLY: (RS) Knit
  • Row 2: (WS) K31(33,34), PM, k8(9,9), PM, k31(33,34).
  • Row 3: K24(26,27), ssk 2x, k3tog, k8(9,9), sl-1, k2tog, psso, k2tog 2x, k24(26,27). [62(67,69)sts)
  • Row 4: Knit
  • Row 5: K20(22,23), ssk 2x, k3tog, k8(9,9), sl-1, k2tog, psso, k2tog 2x, k20(22,23). 54(59,61)sts]
  • Row 6: Knit
  • Row 7: K31(34,35), ssk, turn. [53(58,60) sts]
  • Row 8: Sl-1, k8(9,9), p2tog, turn. [52(57,59) sts]
  • Row 9: Sl-1, k8(9,9), ssk, turn. [51(56,58) sts]
  • Row 10: Sl-1, p8(9,9), p2tog, turn. [50(55,57) sts]
  • Rows 11-26: Repeat rows 9 and 10. [34(39,41)sts]
  • Row 27: (RS) Sl-1, k8(9,9), ssk, DON’T TURN, k11(13,14). [33(38,40)sts]
  • Row 28: K10(13,14), k2tog, k21(23,24). [32(37,39) sts]
  • Row 29: Removing markers as you come to them, knit one row.
  • Row 30: Size Sm ONLY: K1, k2tog, k to last 3 sts, k2tog, k1. [30 sts].
  • Row 30: Sizes M/L and XL ONLY:  K1, k2tog, k2tog, k across to last 5 sts, k2tog, p2tog, p1 [33, 35sts]
  • Rows 31 and 32: Knit

Ribbed Cuff
  • Row 33: Size Sm ONLY: k1, p1 to end. Now go to row 36-42.
  • Row 33: Size M/L ONLY: [k1, p1] 8x, k2tog, p1, [k1, p1] to end. Now go to row 36-42. (32,34 sts)
  • Row 33&34: Size XL ONLY: Repeat rows 31 & 32 once more.
  • Row 35: Size XL ONLY: [k1, p1] 8x, k2tog, p1, [k1, p1] to end. (32,34 sts)
  • Rows 36-42: 1x1 rib.

Bind off loosely.

I turned the slipper inside out and sewed the seams. Weave in loose ends.

Book ~ "Closing Time" (2020) Brenda Chapman

From Goodreads ~ It’s late summer and a restless Officer Kala Stonechild has taken her foster niece, Dawn, on a canoe trip at Pine Hollow Lodge in the wilderness north of Sault Ste. Marie. But the getaway turns deadly when a teenage girl goes missing on her way home from an evening shift at the lodge’s restaurant.

After the girl’s body is found between the lodge and the nearby town of Searchmont, Stonechild reluctantly agrees to help with the investigation. She’s teamed with Clark Harrison, an officer she worked with during her last posting in northwestern Ontario. As the investigation heats up, Stonechild’s past threatens the close bonds she’s forged back home. Will she return to her life in Kingston, or will the rekindling of an old relationship lure her away for good? 

Kala Stonechild is a police officer living in Kingston, ON, and taking care of her teenage niece, Dawn, while Dawn's mother is in prison.  Kala has been feeling restless lately and has some life decisions to make ... while she likes the life she's made for herself in Kingston, she has also been missing her old life, living in northern Ontario with no responsibilities for anyone but herself and her dog.

Kala and Dawn rent a cottage on a lodge in northern Ontario so Kala can show Dawn the joys and simplicity of life away from the city.  Days spent hiking and on the lakes are interrupted when Rachel, a teenager who was working at the restaurant at the lodge where Kala and Dawn are staying is murdered.  The area is served by one police officer, who Kala had worked with years before, and he asks for her help.  As Clark and Kala start investigating, they find that Rachel wasn't the good girl her mother wanted her to be and there are many who could have killed her.

This is the seventh (and final) in the Stonechild and Rouleau series and I enjoyed it.  Though it is part of a series, it works as a stand alone and you don't need to have read the previous ones to read this one (there is enough background given).   It's always nice to read a book that is happening in Ontario (these characters live in Kingston and this story happens in northern Ontario and the author doesn't hide this fact).  I liked the writing style and found the storyline interesting.  It is written in third person perspective with the focus on the various characters wherever the action was happening.

While I'm sorry to see this series come to an end, I look forward to reading future books in this series and by this author.

Monday, 23 March 2020

Book ~ "Talk Money to Me: Save Well, Spend Some, and Feel Good About Your Money" (2019) Kelley Keehn

From Goodreads ~ No matter your age, salary, social or relationship status, money is an important part of your life. Yet, somehow, talking about your money situation is hard. Why is it that you know more about what goes on in your friend’s bedroom than with their bank account? Do you know if your parents have a will or or if they’ll leave a legacy? How many of your colleagues are still paying off student debt but are jet-setting around the globe on multiple credit cards?

Since no one is talking about it, you can’t be expected to learn how to manage your money on your own. With years of experience as a personal finance advisor and educator, Kelley Keehn will answer your most burning questions about money and will talk you through how to avoid mistakes along the way. You can gain control of your debt, learn to save for your future, have a life, and feel good about money all at the same time. And - spoiler alert - you don’t need a budget to do any of this! You’ll learn:
  • How to build good credit (and get rid of bad credit—especially credit card debt)
  • What all these dreaded acronyms mean and how they can work for you - TFSA, RRSP, RESP, CFP, CPP
  • How and when to invest for your future 
  • How to talk about money with your partner - and everyone else in your life
  • How to save for a mortgage and then work towards being mortgage-free 
  • How to have fun, splurge once in a while, and still save money

I work in the financial services industry so books like this catch my eye.  It's always interesting to see how others talk about retirement, budgeting, finances, etc. and I always look forward to learning something new.

The chapters are:
  1. Cash or credit?
  2. Shopaholic Anonymous
  3. Leaving money on the table
  4. All show
  5. The car trap
  6. Sharing is caring
  7. Burn your mortgage
  8. Going solo
  9. The sandwich generation
  10. Where are you now?

There is a glossary at the end.

Each chapter begins with scenarios with various situations, along with missteps.  There are solutions followed by where they are now.

I found the information in this book was at a basic level so it's good for someone who doesn't know a lot and gives them something to think about about building your credit rating, saving for retirement, don't spend more than you have, etc.  It seemed, though, that the solution to each situation was to hire a fee-for-service Certified Financial Planner, which I don't think was needed every time.  Don't overspend.  Don't live beyond your means.  Don't try to keep up with friends.  If you don't need it but want it but can't afford it, don't get it.

Saturday, 21 March 2020

Women's knitted dorm boots

I knitted a pair of ladies medium dorm boots today.  I found the pattern here and adapted them so I had less seams to sew up ... I put them on circular needles/double pointed needles when I started the "foot". I had made two pairs of men's dorm boots earlier in the week and they were quick and fun to knit.

I used Bernat Softee Chunky Yarn (6) in Black Plum and 6.5mm needles.


Abbreviations:
  • k = knit
  • p = purl
  • yo = yarn over sl-1 = slip one
  • PSSO = pass slipped stitch over
  • p2tog = purl 2 together
  • k2tog = knit 2 together
  • ssk = slip, slip, knit
  • WS = wrong side
  • RS = right side
  • PM = place marker
  • Rep = repeat
Women's sizes:
Sm (6-7.5), M/L (8-9), XL (9.5-10.5)

Starting with Sole:
  • Cast on 47(50,52) sts using a long-tail method and with 2 strands held together.
  • Row 1: Knit.
  • Row 2: K1, yo, k22(23,24), yo, k1(2,2), yo, k22(23,24), yo, k1. [51(54,56) sts]
  • Row 3 and all odd rows: Knit. *knit the yo’s through the back of the loop.
  • Row 4: K2, yo, k22(23,24), yo, k3(4,4), yo, k22(23,24), yo, k2. [55(58,60)sts]
  • Row 6: K3, yo, k22(23,24), yo, k5(6,6), yo, k22(23,24), yo, k3. [59(62,64)sts]
  • Row 8: K4, yo, k22(23,24), yo, k7(8,8), yo, k22(23,24), yo, k4. [63(66,68) sts]
  • Row 10: K5, yo, k22(23,24), yo, k9(10,10), yo, k22(23,24), yo, k5. [67(70,72)sts]
  • Row 12: Size Sm ONLY: k6, yo, k22, yo, k11, yo, k22, yo, k6. [71sts]
  • Row 12: Sizes M/L & XL ONLY: K6, yo, k(23,24), yo, k6, yo, k6, yo, (k23,24), yo, k6. [75,77 sts]
  • Row 13: Sizes Sm & M/L proceed to #1 of foot.
  • Row 13: Size XL: Knit (knit the yo's through the back of the loop)

Foot - put on a circular needle or four double pointed needles and work in the round
  • Row 1: Size Sm ONLY: (RS) k34, k2tog, k35. (knit the yo's through the back of the loop) [70 sts]
  • Row 1: Size M/L ONLY: (RS) Knit (knit the yo’s through the back of the loop)
  • Row 1: Size XL ONLY: (RS) Knit
  • Row 2: (WS) K31(33,34), PM, k8(9,9), PM, k31(33,34).
  • Row 3: K24(26,27), ssk 2x, k3tog, k8(9,9), sl-1, k2tog, psso, k2tog 2x, k24(26,27). [62(67,69)sts)
  • Row 4: Knit
  • Row 5: K20(22,23), ssk 2x, k3tog, k8(9,9), sl-1, k2tog, psso, k2tog 2x, k20(22,23). 54(59,61)sts]
  • Row 6: Knit
  • Row 7: K31(34,35), ssk, turn. [53(58,60) sts]
  • Row 8: Sl-1, k8(9,9), p2tog, turn. [52(57,59) sts]
  • Row 9: Sl-1, k8(9,9), ssk, turn. [51(56,58) sts]
  • Row 10: Sl-1, p8(9,9), p2tog, turn. [50(55,57) sts]
  • Rows 11-26: Repeat rows 9 and 10. [34(39,41)sts]
  • Row 27: (RS) Sl-1, k8(9,9), ssk, DON’T TURN, k11(13,14). [33(38,40)sts]
  • Row 28: K10(13,14), k2tog, k21(23,24). [32(37,39) sts]
  • Row 29: Removing markers as you come to them, knit one row.
  • Row 30: Size Sm ONLY: K1, k2tog, k to last 3 sts, k2tog, k1. [30 sts].
  • Row 30: Sizes M/L and XL ONLY:  K1, k2tog, k2tog, k across to last 5 sts, k2tog, p2tog, p1 [33, 35sts]
  • Rows 31 and 32: Knit

Ribbed Cuff
  • Row 33: Size Sm ONLY: k1, p1 to end. Now go to row 36-42.
  • Row 33: Size M/L ONLY: [k1, p1] 8x, k2tog, p1, [k1, p1] to end. Now go to row 36-42. (32,34 sts)
  • Row 33&34: Size XL ONLY: Repeat rows 31 & 32 once more.
  • Row 35: Size XL ONLY: [k1, p1] 8x, k2tog, p1, [k1, p1] to end. (32,34 sts)
  • Rows 36-42: 1x1 rib.

Bind off loosely.

I turned the slipper inside out and sewed the seams. Weave in loose ends.

Friday, 20 March 2020

Men's knitted dorm boots

I knitted a pair of medium dorm boots last evening and this evening.  I had made a pair earlier this week and adapted these ones so I had less seams to sew up ... I put them on circular needles/double pointed needles when I started the "foot".

I used Bernat Softee Chunky Yarn (6) in True Gray and Bernat Softee Chunky Yarn (6) in Gray Ragg and a 6.5mm needles.


Abbreviations:
  • k = knit
  • p = purl
  • yo = yarn over sl-1 = slip one
  • PSSO = pass slipped stitch over
  • p2tog = purl 2 together
  • k2tog = knit 2 together
  • ssk = slip, slip, knit
  • WS = wrong side
  • RS = right side
  • PM = place marker
  • Rep = repeat

Men's sizes:
Sm (8-9), M (9.5-10.5), Lg (11-12), XL (13)

Starting with sole:
  • Cast on 52(55, 57, 59) stitches.
  • Row 1: Knit.
  • Row 2: K1, yo, k24(25,26,27), yo, k2(3,3,3), yo, k24(25,26,27), yo, k1. [56(59,61,63) sts]
  • Row 3 and all odd rows: Knit. *knit the yo’s through the back of the loop. 
  • Row 4: K2, yo, k24(25,26,27), yo, k4(5,5,5), yo, k24(25,26,27), yo, k2. [60(63,65,67)sts]
  • Row 6: K3, yo, k24(25,26,27), yo, k6(7,7,7), yo, k24(25,26,27), yo, k3. [64(67,69,71)sts]
  • Row 8: K4, yo, k24(25,26,27), yo, k8(9,9,9), yo, k24(25,26,27), yo, k4. [68(71,73,75) sts]
  • Row 10: K5, yo, K24(25,26,27), yo, k10(11,11,11), yo, k24(25,26,27), yo, k5. [72(75,77,79)sts]
  • Row 12: Size Sm ONLY: K6, yo, k(24), yo, k6, yo, k6, yo, (k24), yo, k6. [77 sts]
  • Row 12: Size M ONLY: K6, yo, k32, yo, k31, yo, k6. [78 sts]
  • Row 12: Size L ONLY: K6, yo, k to last 6 sts, yo, k6. [79 sts]
  • Row 12: Size XL ONLY: K39, yo, k40. [80 sts]
  • Row 13: Knit (knit any yo's through the back of the loop)

Foot - put on a circular needle or four double pointed needles and work in the round
  • Row 1: Knit
  • Row 2: (WS) K34(34,34,34,), PM, k9(10,11,12), PM, k34(34,34,34,).
  • Row 3: K27(27,27,27), ssk 2x, k3tog, k9(10,11,12), sl-1, k2tog, psso, k2tog 2x, k27(27,27,27). [69(70,71,72) sts)
  • Row 4: Knit
  • Row 5: K23(23,23,23), ssk 2x, k3tog, k9(10,11,12), sl-1, k2tog, psso, k2tog 2x, k23(23,23,23). [61(62,63,64)sts]
  • Row 6: Knit
  • Row 7: K35(36,37,38), ssk, turn. [60(61,62,63) sts]
  • Row 8: Sl-1, p9(10,11,12), p2tog, turn. [59(60,61,62) sts]
  • Row 9: Sl-1, k9(10,11,12), ssk, turn. [58(59,60,61) sts]
  • Row 10: Sl-1, p9(10,11,12), p2tog, turn. [57(58,59,60) sts]
  • Rows 11-26: Repeat rows 9 and 10. [41(42,43,44) sts]
  • Row 27: (RS) Sl-1, k9(10,11,12), ssk, DON’T TURN, k14(14,14,14). [40(41,42,43) sts]
  • Row 28: K14(14,14,14), k2tog, k10, k14(14,14,14). [39(40,41,42) sts]
  • Row 29: Size S/M ONLY: (Removing markers as you come to them) Knit. Now proceed to row 32.
  • Row 29: Size L/XL ONLY: (Removing markers as you come to them) Knit.
  • Row 30: Size L/XL ONLY: Knit
  • Row 31: Size L/XL ONLY: Knit
  • Row 32: K1, k2tog, k2tog, k across to last 5 sts, k2tog, k2tog, k1. [35(36,37,38) sts]
  • Row 33-36: Knit

Ribbed Cuff
  • Row 37: Sizes S/L ONLY: [k1,p1] 8(-,8,-)x more, k2tog, p1, [k1,p1] to end. [34(-,36,-) sts]
  • Row 37: Size M/XL ONLY: [k1, p1] to end.
  • Rows 38-45: Work 8 rows of 1x1 rib.

Bind off loosely.

I turned the slippers inside out and sewed the seams. Weave in loose ends.

Thursday, 19 March 2020

Ipsy Glam Bag - March 2020

My March Ipsy Glam Bag arrived today.
  • $12 a Glam Bag ($223CN for a year)
  • 5 beauty products worth $50+ (the average Glam Bag value in 2019)
  • Glam Bags are available in the U.S., U.S. Territories, & Canada. U.S. shipping is free. Taxes will apply to all bag orders shipped within the U.S. Canadian shipping is $2.95.


Here's what I received ...



Total value (excluding the bag) - $80.03US

Book ~ "The K Team" (2020) David Rosenfelt

From Goodreads ~ Corey Douglas and his K-9 partner, Simon Garfunkel, have recently retired from the police force. Not ready to give up the life yet, they come up with a proposal for fellow former cop, Laurie Carpenter, and her investigating partner, Marcus. Laurie and Marcus - who help out Laurie’s lawyer husband Andy on cases - have been chafing to jump back into investigating on their own, so they are in. 

They call themselves the K Team, in honor of Simon. Their first job as private investigators comes to them from Judge Henry Henderson, who's known as a very tough but fair judge and they've all come up against him in court at one time or another. Though it's hard to believe, Judge Henderson is being blackmailed and extorted, and he doesn't want to involve the police - he needs the K Team to figure out why.

Corey Douglas is a recently retired police officer as is Simon Garfunkel, a his former K-9 partner.  They team up with Laurie and Marcus to form an investigation firm called The K-Team.  Laurie is married to Andy, a retired criminal defense lawyer, and she and Marcus do investigative work for Andy.  Laurie is also a former police officer and Marcus has "persuasive" reasoning skills and provides protection when it's most needed.  Sam is Andy's accountant who is also a computer hack and Corey, as a retired police office, has an issue with how Sam gets his information.

The K Team's first client is Judge Henry "Hatchet" Henderson, a no-nonsense judge who suspects he's about to be blackmailed into doing something.  Henderson wants The K Team to find out what's going on.  As they investigate, dead bodies start popping up until they finally figure out what's going on.

There have been twenty books so far in the Andy Carpenter series and I've read them all ... this is the first in the K Team spin-off series (and I hope it won't be the last).  Laurie and Marcus have major roles in the Andy Carpenter series and Andy is in this one.  We met Corey in the last Andy Carpenter book just as he and Simon had retired.

I enjoyed this book.  After getting to know Andy (in his voice) in his series, it was interesting to see how someone else views him and how he reacts/relates with others.  The story was interesting and it didn't come together until the end.  Though it is a spin-off of another series, you don't need to have read the other series (though you should because they are good).  I like the writing style of this author as it was funny, sarcastic and amusing.  It was written mostly in first person perspective in Corey's voice but is sometimes in third person perspective when the focus is on one of the bad guys.

Tuesday, 17 March 2020

Men's knitted dorm boots

I knitted a pair of medium dorm boots last evening and this evening.  I used this pattern, with Bernat Softee Chunky Yarn (6) in True Gray and a 6.5mm round needle.  It was surprisingly easy and I'll make them again.

They fit Gord

Abbreviations:
  • k = knit
  • p = purl
  • yo = yarn over sl-1 = slip one
  • PSSO = pass slipped stitch over
  • p2tog = purl 2 together
  • k2tog = knit 2 together
  • ssk = slip, slip, knit
  • WS = wrong side
  • RS = right side
  • PM = place marker
  • Rep = repeat

Mens Sizes:
Sm (8-9), M (9.5-10.5), Lg (11-12), XL (13)

Starting with Sole:
  • Cast on 52(55, 57, 59) stitches.
  • Row 1: Knit.
  • Row 2: K1, yo, k24(25,26,27), yo, k2(3,3,3), yo, k24(25,26,27), yo, k1. [56(59,61,63) sts]
  • Row 3 and all odd rows: Knit. *knit the yo’s through the back of the loop. 
  • Row 4: K2, yo, k24(25,26,27), yo, k4(5,5,5), yo, k24(25,26,27), yo, k2. [60(63,65,67)sts]
  • Row 6: K3, yo, k24(25,26,27), yo, k6(7,7,7), yo, k24(25,26,27), yo, k3. [64(67,69,71)sts]
  • Row 8: K4, yo, k24(25,26,27), yo, k8(9,9,9), yo, k24(25,26,27), yo, k4. [68(71,73,75) sts]
  • Row 10: K5, yo, K24(25,26,27), yo, k10(11,11,11), yo, k24(25,26,27), yo, k5. [72(75,77,79)sts]
  • Row 12: Size Sm ONLY: K6, yo, k(24), yo, k6, yo, k6, yo, (k24), yo, k6. [77 sts]
  • Row 12: Size M ONLY: K6, yo, k32, yo, k31, yo, k6. [78 sts]
  • Row 12: Size L ONLY: K6, yo, k to last 6 sts, yo, k6. [79 sts]
  • Row 12: Size XL ONLY: K39, yo, k40. [80 sts]
  • Row 13: Knit (knit any yo's through the back of the loop)

Foot
  • Row 1: Knit
  • Row 2: (WS) P34(34,34,34,), PM, p9(10,11,12), PM, p34(34,34,34,).
  • Row 3: K27(27,27,27), ssk 2x, k3tog, k9(10,11,12), sl-1, k2tog, psso, k2tog 2x, k27(27,27,27). [69(70,71,72) sts)
  • Row 4: Purl
  • Row 5: K23(23,23,23), ssk 2x, k3tog, k9(10,11,12), sl-1, k2tog, psso, k2tog 2x, k23(23,23,23). [61(62,63,64)sts]
  • Row 6: Purl
  • Row 7: K35(36,37,38), ssk, turn. [60(61,62,63) sts]
  • Row 8: Sl-1, p9(10,11,12), p2tog, turn. [59(60,61,62) sts]
  • Row 9: Sl-1, k9(10,11,12), ssk, turn. [58(59,60,61) sts]
  • Row 10: Sl-1, p9(10,11,12), p2tog, turn. [57(58,59,60) sts]
  • Rows 11-26: Repeat rows 9 and 10. [41(42,43,44) sts]
  • Row 27: (RS) Sl-1, k9(10,11,12), ssk, DON’T TURN, k14(14,14,14). [40(41,42,43) sts]
  • Row 28: P24(25,26,27), p2tog, p14(14,14,14). [39(40,41,42) sts]
  • Row 29: Size S/M ONLY: (Removing markers as you come to them) Knit. Now proceed to row 32.
  • Row 29: Size L/XL ONLY: (Removing markers as you come to them) Knit.
  • Row 30: Size L/XL ONLY: Purl
  • Row 31: Size L/XL ONLY: Knit
  • Row 32: P1, p2tog, p2tog, p across to last 5 sts, p2tog, p2tog, p1. [35(36,37,38) sts]
  • Row 33: Knit
  • Row 34: Purl
  • Rows 35-36: Rep rows 33 and 34 once more.

Ribbed Cuff
  • Row 37: Sizes S/L ONLY: [k1,p1] 8(-,8,-)x more, k2tog, p1, [k1,p1] to end. [34(-,36,-) sts]
  • Row 37: Size M/XL ONLY: [k1, p1] to end.
  • Rows 38-45: Work 8 rows of 1x1 rib.

Bind off loosely.

I turned the slipper inside out and sewed the seams. Weave in loose ends.

Book ~ "PowerPoint Basics In 30 Minutes" (2020) Angela Rose

From Goodreads ~ When you're giving a slide presentation, a positive impression can make a sale or win over an audience. "PowerPoint Basics In 30 Minutes" can help you connect with audiences and make great presentations that get real results. This unofficial PowerPoint user guide covers the basic features of PowerPoint 2016 (part of the Office 365 suite), PowerPoint Online and the PowerPoint mobile apps, including PowerPoint for Android and PowerPoint for iOS. The PowerPoint manual also demonstrates how to use some of PowerPoint's most powerful features and tools, such as:

  • Premade PowerPoint templates with gorgeous backgrounds and fonts
  • Custom layouts that fit your personality or corporate identity
  • Special formatting and design options
  • Tools to place photos, video, and audio onto slides
  • Shapes, graphs, tables, and SmartArt
  • Graceful transitions between slides
  • PowerPoint animations that can make text and other elements come to life
  • Proofing tools for spelling and review
  • Collaboration features that make it easy to work with colleagues or classmates
  • Exporting PowerPoint PDFs, online versions for the Web, and package presentations to share with others
  • Creating paper copies and printed PowerPoint handouts
  • Showing your presentation with a mouse or mobile device or using a PowerPoint remote or PowerPoint clicker

Author Angela Rose also gives tips on how to communicate more effectively using PowerPoint decks. Whether you are giving a business presentation, preparing a lecture for a class or seminar, or using Microsoft PowerPoint for personal use, PowerPoint Basics In 30 Minutes can help you create a better-looking presentation that makes a big impact.

I've been using PowerPoint for many years and enjoy it.  Years ago I knew I was good at it and wanted to see how good I was at it so wrote and passed Microsoft's PowerPoint certification exam and got 100%!  I worked freelance for a couple years and taught Microsoft programs with a couple companies (I had gotten all my Microsoft certifications).  In my current job, of the Microsoft programs (excluding Outlook), I use PowerPoint about 90% of the time.  I have Office 365 at home and at work ... at home I pay for the annual subscription.

The book is directed to those who use Windows, Macs and online.  The chapters are:

  1. Launching and navigating PowerPoint - the purchasing options, launching PowerPoint, Presenting to an audience, Backstage View (I didn't know that what this is actually has a name), navigating PowerPoint's ribbon interface, display options when working on presentations, saving your presentations, which file format to use, shutting down and locating a recovered file
  2. Creating a basic presentation - inserting and editing new slides, slide order within your presentation, formatting text, images and aligning and group objects
  3. Intermediate features - Shapes and SmartArt, Intelligent Services and PowerPoint Designer, charts, videos, text and object animations and slide transitions
  4. Proofing, printing and sharing - Proofing a presentation, presentation collaboration tools, protecting a presentation and printing, sharing and exporting slide decks

When I saw this book, I knew it was a "basic" book but thought it would be interesting to check out ... and it was.  I was curious to see if I would learn anything new considering the years I've been using it and the amount of time I use it ... and I did.  Plus it was a good reminder of things that I'd forgotten because I don't use them or have gotten lazy and do things the way I've always done them.


The book is written in an easy-to-follow manner with lots of screenshots and I'd recommend it.  There were a couple times, though, when the author was explaining things that she didn't offer easier/alternative ways of doing things.  Like when you are going into "presentation" mode or "slide sorter" mode ... she advised you to go "View" on the ribbon and then choosing the mode rather than using the icons on the bottom right, which are quicker and handier.

BTW, the authors loves cats too!

Monday, 16 March 2020

Topbox - March 2020

My March Topbox arrived today.

Get 4 hand-picked deluxe samples delivered to your door for $15 per month. It's the best way to discover the products you'll love.


Here's what I received ...



Total value:  $42.63

Sunday, 15 March 2020

Knitted poncho

I recently came across this yarn.  It caught my eye because it's so colourful and soft.


I knew I wanted to do something with it ... but what?  I've got enough scarves, sweaters, etc.  So I decided to make a poncho ... I've never knitted one before.  I based it on this pattern.


I cast on 76 stitches using 5.5mm needles. Join in round, placing a marker on first stitch.

Seed stitch the neck edging:
  • 1st round: *K1. P1. Repeat from * around.
  • 2nd round: *P1. K1. Repeat from * around.
  • 3rd round: As 1st round.
  • 4th round: K1. Place marker between stitches. (K1. P1) 17 (17-18) times. Place marker between stitches. K2. Place marker between stitches. (K1. P1) 17 (17-18) times. Place marker between stitches. K1. Markers for center back and center front (2 stitches wide) are now in position.

Begin increasing rounds:
  • 1st round: K1. Slip marker. Make 1 stitch by picking up horizontal loop lying before next stitch and knitting into back of loop. Knit to next marker. Make 1 stitch by picking up horizontal loop lying before next stitch and knitting into back of loop. Slip marker. K2. Slip marker. Make 1 stitch by picking up horizontal loop lying before next stitch and knitting into back of loop. Knit to next marker. Make 1 stitch by picking up horizontal loop lying before next stitch and knitting into back of loop. Slip marker. K1. You've increased 4 stitches. 
  • 2nd round: K1. Slip marker. Knit to marker. Slip marker. K2. Slip marker. Knit to next marker. Slip marker. K1. 

Continue repeating 1st round and 2nd round until poncho measures desired length ... mine is 33.5 inches long at center back.
  • 1st round: *K1. P1. Rep from * around.
  • 2nd round: *P1. K1. Rep from * around.
  • 3rd round: As 1st round.

Cast off and weave in loose ends.  It took three balls of 5.29 ounce/150 grams ~ 296 yards/271 metres yarn.

*****

Because I wasn't following the knit/purl pattern (as per the pattern), when I was finished, I cast the stitches ... but the bottom curled.  Grrrrr!  So I undid the casting off and put it back on needles again.  I did the seed stitch for three rows (as above) to matching the neck, figuring it wouldn't curl because of the knit/purl combination ... but it did (you can see it in the third picture above).  Grrrrr!  I considered undoing the seed stitch rows and finishing with a few garter stitch rows.  That  would have been a lot of work so I thought I'd try ironing the curling to see if it would flatten out ... and it did.  Yay!

Achilles St. Patrick’s Day 1K Kids, 5K & 10K Races, Toronto, ON

Gord and I had signed up to do the 5km walk in the Achilles St. Patrick’s Day 1K Kids, 5K & 10K Races ... it was to start and end outside the Steam Whistle Brewing at The Roundhouse this morning.

Because of COVID-19, it was cancelled.  We were able to pick up our race kits on Friday and yesterday ... I got ours yesterday.


Everyone was encouraged to do the run/walk on our own ... so that's what Gord and I did this morning.  I wore my festive socks ... they're comfy!


It was a beautiful day for a walk ... sunny with a bit of a chill.  We walked to Garrison Crossing and crossed over the Fort York.

Saturday, 14 March 2020

Pi Co., Toronto, ON (Bloor W)

I went for a long walk today (it ended up being 7.5km) and about halfway, I had lunch at Pi Co. on Bloor Street W, just east of Bathurst.


You can order a Margherita pizza or "craft" your own, which is what I did. There are lots of ingredients to choose from ... you can put as little or as much as you want

It takes about 90 seconds to bake
Here's my pizza ... I got extra mozzarella cheese, cherry tomatoes, pepperoni, bacon, ground sausage and ham on it. I love love love pizza and this was a delicious pizza. The ingredients seemed fresh and had a lot of flavour. I liked the crust ... it was soft and chewy.


Pi Co. Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Thursday, 12 March 2020

Book ~ "No Questions Asked" (2020) Julie Moffett

From Goodreads ~ Lexi Carmichael: saving scientists one snake at a time.

Weddings aren’t my thing - never have been. But eloping would break my mother’s heart, especially since the president of the United States put in a good word for me with his daughter’s wedding planner. I’m going to have the wedding of the year ... whether I like it or not.

Before we can say I do, Slash and I are flying off to the Brazilian rain forest. Our mission: stop hackers from stealing a vaccine that could save millions of lives. I thought it’d be easy but from the moment we step off the plane, I’m up to my neck in trouble.

After an attack by drug-runners, being kidnapped and discovering that the bad guy is even worse than we’d imagined, I’m pretty sure someone in our group is working for the enemy. And they’re succeeding. I’ll have to use all my geek skills to stop the bad guys if I’m going to make it home in time to tie that knot.

Lexi is a master hacker and director for X-Corp, an intelligence and security company. She is engaged to Slash, who is a government agent and fellow hacker.  Lexi and Slash just want a quiet wedding but that's not going to happen with her mother involved.

A non-profit company has invented a vaccine that could cure malaria and save many lives.  They want to do test trials in the Brazil rain forest but someone is trying to stop that.  It's suspected that someone is trying to hack into the company's system, steal the formula and get it into the market first.  Lexi is known as one of the best in the business so is hired to find out who it is.  Slash has been forced to take a vacation so goes along with Lexi and the rest of the team to Brazil.  It's a welcome way to get away from all the wedding planning.

Of course, nothing goes smoothly and the team comes across drug runners, crooked government officials, pirates, kidnappers and more!

Though this is the twelfth (and latest) in the Lexi Carmichael series, it works as a stand alone.  If you want to know the background, though, you should read the others.  I've like the series and have read them all.

It is written in first person perspective from Lexi's point of view and third person perspective from Slash and other's points of view.  I liked the writing style and there was humour.  In addition to the usual hacking, there was lots of adventure around Brazil.  It's been interesting to watch Lexi grow from being a geek with just one friend, no life and no social skills to not only having close friends, a fiancé with whom she is now living with, but also confidence.