Saturday, August 23, 2014

Fair Share

 We had a great time at the fair, but it is always exhausting, helping my mom set up the needleworks and organizing our volunteers for the knitting table. Luckily for me, we have the most awesome people in our group.
 The sign maker in our group states it's time for a new sign. I will agree.
We had 15 baby layettes for our Fair Share class that are all donated to the Chilliwack General Hospital Auxiliary. They sell them in the gift shop and the money goes to the maternity ward for improvements. It's just one of the ways we try to connect with our community.
 We yarn bombed the "other knitted item" class with tea cozies and it was great fun! My Kate Davies sheep carousel won a second. The judge was my niece, and she didn't know it was mine, nor that it was knit of her mom's hand spun.
 Karen brought her matryoshka shawl that Emily designed. It's almost ready to go live on Ravelry.
 Mom was given pink deely-boppers and a big wand because she was in charge of the building. It was good to add humour to some of the more precious fair goers. Paw helped set everything up and then take it all down again.
 Priscilla and her piglets were a great hit.
 The barn next door to the home arts building was full of friendly critters.
 Not all were dignified.
 Some were shy.
 Emily came home after her summer courses finished and made friends with the friendly ones.
These two were so relaxed after their class had finished and seemed genuinely interested in hearing all about their breed mixes and their life stories.
This year I have to thank my knitters for manning the table and making it what they wished. I had an anniversary dinner on the Friday night and an in-law BBQ on the Sunday, just when things were wrapping up.
We are already scheming about next year's fair.
This September we are going to try a Baby Surprise Jacket knit a long, some entrelac classes and setting up a knitters' life list. If we're going to have a big circle of knitting friends, we may as well share our mistakes and successes.

Saturday, August 09, 2014

Wool and Flowers and Books, Oh My

It's the heat of the summer. The first roses have withered, the planters are thirsty and the grass is going brown. I'm trying out mojito recipes with my mint. Still need to balance the lime and the ice.

 For those of you who are playing #metricrevolution with the Knitmore Girls, here is my Paw's thermometer. It has been getting over 30 degrees which is pretty hot in this temperate rain forest. We switched to metric with much fuss and fever when I was in grade 5. I was lucky to discover the simplicity of measuring by tens. I can't tell you how many feet in a mile. In the hospital, and hospice, we mostly follow SI, System Internationale, to avoid misunderstandings. Some doctors haven't given up their archaic gtts and ungts. And we are supposed to mark the date: Year, month, day; but we do day, month year (increasing increments) which I still prefer over the random month, day, year.

 But I don't work there anymore. I had my last shift, which was not without its challenges and complications. My dear co-workers gave me flowers! Add that to the wool and the books I got for my birthday and there may be a correlation to pigs in sh*t.

 This is the yarn my daughter dyed for me for my birthday. Can't say enough about it. Her first attempt!
 This is what it wants to be, a Lintilla. Yes, Martina Behm, you are my esteemed leader. I will knit anything you sneeze at. I know the Nuvem was a crazy, koolaid drinking slog at the end, but the Sweet Georgia CashSilk lace was devine to the end. I have even worn it once at our knit night outside. The evenings are already perceptibly shorter, and with a breeze, there is a delicious chill in the evenings.
 Yarn bombing in the wild outside a store in Abbostsford, the next city west of us on the Trans Canada Highway. My BFF took me to lunch for my birthday and we did a bit of poking around in the shops.
 After the epic that was the Nuvem, I picked up my needlepoint again. This pattern could use a smaller grid to get more detail, but it is my favourite William Morris pattern, The Strawberry Thief, and I would love to have the cushion in my living room. I saw the original at the V&A in 1996.
 Scott was home, so there was grand grilled cheese events.
He and his friends hiked some of the local mountains and didn't get lost, but took 12 hours.
 I took him to our Local Harvest farmers market and the cheese shop. We picked up corn and had a great evening of movies in the cool, cool basement.
 If you get up early, you can make supper, hang the laundry and walk the dog before 10 am when it's too hot to do anything. I am a wimp.
 I picked 2 litres of blackberries. There had been someone in the patch before me, but I was taller and still got some nice, soft, warm ones. They are terrific on vanilla icecream!
The Christmas presents continue. I saw the Hidden Gusset pattern on and immediately cast on a pair for my nephew. In the largest size, I used just over half the yarn expected. Scott tried them on before I finished the thumb. I like how they turned out except for the right leaning increase. It pulls too much on the given yarn (does anyone remember this in the Colour Affection?) I would do a different increase if I knit them again, but I had to make them match.
All the piggies are done (6 pair). Thanks to the Knit Girllls for keeping me company while I knit the last two.
And this is going to be a False Creek cowl for my niece. The first one knit up so quickly and only took one ball of chunky superwash wool, that I've already cast on and half finished another one. Then I get to hunt for buttons!
This weekend I am at the fair. Emily came home, we had a grand anniversary party last night up on Ryder Lake mountain, and have a family BBQ on Sunday. I think I like the fair more when I don't have to be there so much.

Monday, July 28, 2014

Great New Beginning

 Finished my Nuvem and it is everything it promised to be. The last two skeins were brutal. It would have helped if I didn't have to reknit 2 whole skeins! My own fault. The pattern is elegant in its simplicity and at one point that was lost on my.

This was my birthday present to myself.
 There were parties and cake. My kind of cake! Date squares and a Welsh raisin quick bread that our family calls Snickerdoodle.
 Emily designed and knit for me a lion and Celtic scarf with beads. It is wonderful.
She also dyed a skein of fingering weight yarn for me in the Rainbow Fish colourway. Her first attempt and it's the best yarn ever! I wound it by hand and have cast on a new Martina Behm shawl, Lintilla.
Today is like a New Year's Day for me.
Some years I start a new journal, but I'm half way through one.
Some years I make resolutions and start projects.
 I hope to finish writing my novel this year.
I hope to practice gratitude daily.
I hope to continue walking and cycling and being fit.
I have my last shift at Hospice this week and will need to structure my days to include writing.
Now that I'm a grown up, I hope to have the courage to enjoy my life as a child would.

Friday, July 18, 2014

Long Summer Rows

 My wee carrots were sweet. I pick them as babies because I can.
 The pots are filling out and requiring watering every evening. There is a rumour of rain tonight. We have been lucky with summery days and temperatures up to 30. Over 30 is a bit beastly and we retreat into the cement lined bunker of a basement to watch Netflix. I'd rather be sitting out in the shade.
 Lots of growth on my trail. Canadian thistles taller than me and trying to reach the poplar trees.
 Piggy mittens are being cranked out for the great nephews. I just finished pair 4. It is the perfect foil to the long rows of Nuvem. I love making Christmas presents in July!
 With the fan on and facing the oven, I can cook and bake to my heart's content. Which means one day. Wee banana breads for a win.
 They made round bales of grass feed for the young calves. Giant marshmallows in the field behind our creek.
 Mornings are especially lovely on the deck with the heavy dew and the sun not up above the magnolia.
Oh Nuvem. After my second to last shift at work, I picked her up with some Dr. Who in the basement and found a lighter stripe. Hand dyed yarn. Not so careful planning. But I've already spent 2 weeks reknitting this section. Heart Break! Put it down and go to bed! The rows are getting so long! Almost put her in a time out basket. But would I ever finish her?
My BFF emphatically declares that it matters not. She knows to say that even if it's hideous. When I finish this ball, I can do the ruffle and block her and be pleased that I can now knit something else. Probably another Martina Behm crazy giant knit. I know. But I still have my Spilly Jane piggies.

Monday, July 07, 2014

Summer Yum.

 I have started my Christmas knitting. These are scrappy piggy mittens for my one great-niece. I have 5 pairs to make for the boys. I'm using Spilly Jane's pattern, but with a thumb gusset instead of afterthought. So much fun!
 I did cast on the Dew Drops shawl of my birthday yarn from last year. But I really need to stay with the Nuvem. It took two hours to rip it back and get it back on the needle, but I'm back to 40% knit and dedicated to getting back to the ruffle.
 Operation Sock Drawer is ahead of schedule. These are June and July socks. No Purl Monkeys. I think I would do regular monkeys next time because the purls add a bit of stretch.
 For the Fair Share class at our local fair, I have knit a baseball layette. These are judged and then donated to our hospital.
 For Canada Day I went to find some strawberries, but they're already gone. I bought cherries instead and made some good muffins with ricotta.
 My sweet radishes are ready. Today I'll pick some carrots. Summer Yum.
 The skies have been so active. It's been hot and muggy, then chilly with a breeze. Very unsettled.
 The flowers love it. I hope to harvest lavender this year for sachets. I'm still planning to do more embroidery. And sewing. Only 2 shifts left and I have August free.
 This is my morning. Loving the cold oatmeal parfait a la Dr. Gemma of Cogkitive Podcast. Loved Brideshead Revisited. Already finished another book and another audio book. Summer reading love.
 The corn is almost up to my shoulder. That's the rule for my birthday at the end of the month. I'm looking forward to seeing my kids on the island and helping Scott set up his futon and the gate leg table I had refinished for his bachelor suite. Emily is playing with a band called Bucan Bucan and having fun with its Eastern European Gypsy music.

Each day is made brighter by my bank of Queen Elizabeth roses. I'm walking the trail behind our creek and just trying to enjoy lemonade in the shade this summer. Yum.