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.

Tuesday, July 01, 2014

Celebrating X 50

 Such a lovely 50th birthday party for a friend turning 50. We sat in the sun in our pretty dresses and hats and enjoyed scones and tea.
 A Dutch family, her daughters aren't used to tea time, but did a great job with help from friends. This is something from my own tradition.
 Butterflies came to the table.
 Lots of goodies. In our town, I am guaranteed to know someone in common with my new friends.
 Her grandchildren, like flowers in her garden.
I miss the quiet calm of Ryder Lake hill. We had property at the top when I was young, and I rode my horse up there. We stayed with school friends and felt at home in the rolling hills and forests.

There have been other 50th celebrations. A friend came home from Maui to have a party with friends and family. D's band piped at a 50th wedding celebration. When the sun is high and the the berries are fresh, everyone feels like celebrating.
The Nuvem was up to the last ball of CashSilk Lace. But.  At one point I started the wrong decreases. I know. 

My friend is also knitting it and brought it to my attention. I curse her and thank her in the same breath. It took almost 2 hours to rip it back to the correct decreases. Sigh. It was the only thing on my needles and I was wizzing toward the ruffle. Now I shall continue plodding. It is good knitting for celebrations.

Tuesday, June 17, 2014

Eighth Bloggiversary

 I have been sharing pictures and snippets of my life and knitting with you, dear reader, for 8 years now. There was a time when blogging was my life line to all things knitting. But since Google Reader disappeared, I have not been keeping up with blogs. I have tried bloglovin' and feedly. But not all my favourites have been transferred over, and not all of them are displayed well in those formats. I will keep trying because I love to see the photos and read the notes of lives of "friends" I've known for years.
These days I'm more apt to be listening to or watching a podcast.
I was wondering what a typical post of mine would be like. There is probably a picture of my garden, my big black dog, my knitting and one or two nature shots from my walk. Celebrating the small moments in life is what really makes my heart sing.
 I bought myself a treat. It's a Vintage Rose stitch marker necklace and so very charming. You could say it was for my bloggiversary, but really it was because I was a bit sad after mothers' day. My wonderful big children both called from their homes on Vancouver Island. But I missed them and our tradition of A&W Momma Burgers.

 D is not good at mothers day and says, "You're not my mother". Le sigh. We celebrated fathers' day with my Paw and he got to join in the fun of Kilby Heritage Farm.

 I always love the seasons. Behind our creek, the salmon berries are bursting. The strawberries are for sale and the raspberries quick on their tails. We love to eat seasonal fruits and veggies. I even have some radishes in the raised bed that are almost ready.
I thank you for joining me on this journey. My knitting has been enriched by our virtual friendship and has spurred me to nurture a real knitting circle. When first we met, I was an at home care giver of tweens. I returned to nursing and worked in the hospital and then at Hospice. Next week I will tender my resignation there because the shifts have become too hard and heavy with no breaks in over 12 hours, and my old bones can't handle it.
So I am embarking on a new adventure. I won't be in a hurry to look for another job because, just this morning, I realized it is my chance to finish my novel. How's that for coincidence? I have been moaning about not having time for writing (as I garden and knit and fill my time with books and friends). But here is my chance. The story I started when my babies were wee. I have worked on for many years. I'm glad I didn't write it before I studied more about character and dialogue and just had some hard knocks.
All around me are signs of change and metaphors in the air.
One of these days I will grow up, and I hope that you will be there with me.

Friday, June 13, 2014

I Choose Variety

 When you go on a trip, you have to make lots of choices. Where to stay, what to pack. I am lucky my Mom is wardrobe conscious. I was able to choose red as my accent colour to my navy and black clothes I packed for our trip. And I was lucky the weather was sort of what I expected.
But it's feeling like summer, and I want things to be more care free.
 Sometimes the wild flowers and weeds make the best bouquets.
 I like to walk in the fields.
 But also at the lake and in the woods.
 Maybe I want to sit in the sun on the deck.
 Or move to my new shade area.
 Stripy socks means not having to choose. These are no purl monkeys. I actually ripped this one out and cast on with a larger needle because I have been working on making better, more consistent stitches. Goodbye 0.175 mm needles!
The only other thing on my needles is the big pink CashSilk blob that will be a Nuvem and the start of a baby layette for the fair.

 My neighbour, Jerry, trims his privet hedge a few times a year. You don't see people planting these high maintenance hedges anymore. But it smells like orange blossoms and he sculpts it to be rounded and wavy. Most people plant cedar hedges. They are strong and add privacy, but don't do much for bio diversity.
 We are eating strawberries and smelling black berry blossoms. This is a good time to be in the valley.

 World Wide Knit In Public Day was introduced early in Chilliwack because of the various schedules. We met at Sardis Park during the Eco Market and it was a huge success, the night after our knitting circle. That meeting kicked of 5 people learning to knit socks two at a time on one circular. Way to take a challenge! I have done this and decided it's not for me.
Original members, who haven't been able to attend Tuesdays, came out to celebrate with us. Yay varieties of friends and knitters.
 Tunisian crochet is one of my choices. I made a coffee cozy for Emily's boyfriend's new pot out of left over handspun.
If you don't want coffee, you can choose tea. This is Kate Davies' Sheep Carousel tea cozy in my sister, Pat's, handspun. It will be entered in the fair in a class called "Other Knitting" that we are yarn bombing.
 I love to choose from my six varieties of roses. Stop and not only smell the roses, but plant them and tend them and bring them into the house.
 I even have more than one "variety" of lavender.
 So nice to have memories of our trip and already planning our next one to New York. This summer I will read a variety of genres, knit multicoloured and numerous knitting projects and enjoy day trips from home. Spicy summer of variety!