Wednesday, October 31, 2007


Noodle-Pie made her own long black cloak for Hallowe'en and carved pumpkins after lunch in school. She went out with 3 friends in the neighbourhood. Mr. Boo finished his music theory homework and went with a friend to a party on the hill. This is a good friend whose mother will also drive him home. He has his driving test next week.
I spent 9 am to 3pm in a meeting. Ouch. I had to go out and buy a new scarf to go with my cheap new bag. Just a hint of olive. It is a very flattering colour, but I OD'd on Olive Drab when I was in the Reserve Forces Medical Corps. I may open up to using it as a bridge between my black and brown clothes. I tried on a great European fair isle scarf, but I couldn't buy something like that if it's not handknit.
This is the Grade 9 school project. I think we can thank the pumpkins for the 9 trick-or-treaters we had this year. I think we had 3 last year. Our driveway is very long, and if you're going door to door for maximum efficiency and volume, you avoid those houses far from the road.
This is my treat. Noro is like nothing else. I love the thought of my godson wearing this as he waits for the bus. I have no control over what is going on and I'm loving it. Definitely an antidote for lace. I'm in for six feet. Let's see what happens in the next row.

Monday, October 29, 2007

The Land of Sheep and Wool

On Friday I went with my mom and paw and daughter to Saltspring Island for my second sister's 50th birthday. The ferry was 1 1/2 hour drive and 3 hours across. Whew. She lives way up Mount Maxwell. Her neighbours raise sheep and goats, spin and weave and knit. It was heavenly. She is just finishing building her own sheep fold and hopes to get some in the spring.
This is my sister's Canada Goose. She revived it as a chick and it has returned from migration. Check out her website Mount Maxwell Cards.
Arbutus trees grow all over the Gulf Islands and Vancouver Island. Their red bard is part of the romance and magic of the setting.
From her kitchen you can just see Mount Baker and our own Mount Cheam of the Cascade range. This is due east.
Here is sister's spinning and knitting. Of course it's a guernsey. Perfect. She gave me a skein of some that was too fine. I also bought a cone (2,000 meters) of single ply wool from her friend at the market. She said she knew those sheep and they have a spinning mill on the island.
In expressing how large my basement is, I think I slipped a digit. It is 300 square feet (not 3,000). I have a tentative relationship with numbers. But I can still knit.
Here is Long Harbour as we are preparing to leave. The sea was calm and the air was warm. The party was filled with interesting (very interesting Saltspring types) people and lots of my family that she doesn't get to see so often.
My niece was there without hubby and step kids so we got to visit a lot with her. They all spent lots of time looking at my daughter's and my godson/nephew's books of drawing. Sister is a painter and she gave me an original of one of her crow cards which I had framed. Wow. I have several of her paintings at home.
I haven't shown her happy face as she opened the shawl because I am not sure if I should post pictures of unsuspecting people. I have barely posted my own photo. I don't want to risk my family to the unknown, and yet I am compelled to share with you. If said sister knew about the blog, it might be different. But I've only told one or two people so far.
You were with me as I couldn't stop taking photos to share with you!

Thursday, October 25, 2007

Knitters Re-do the Reno

This is the biggest "frogging" that I have been involved with. My family helped strip wallpaper, paint the ceiling and prepare the walls. Then I took to the big job of painting the walls of a 3,000 square foot TV room. I wanted it cozy and darkish.
I got pumpking/mustard screaming brightness that D. described as "calf scours". Yuck
Thank goodness the people at the Chilliwack Decorating Store are brilliant. While I had a lovely lunch with my best friends to celebrate a birthday, they cut the colour in half and added magenta to cut the mustard.
This is a huge contrast. Another first coat. But the finished results (Wednesday night painting and Thursday morning second coat) is still dark and comforting. I have a shawl and some fabric that I wanted to match and this is a better mix than the original exact colour.

Next week: the before and after. Then on to the next, connecting room that I hope to set up as a guest room.
Tomorrow morning I'm off to Saltspring Island with Noodle Pie and Mom and Paw to celebrate my second sister's 50th. I hope to get some good pics. I need the rest and I bless the (same) little sock that welcomes me for easy knitting.

Sunday, October 21, 2007

Waving At You

Persistence, Perspicacity, Stick-to-it-iveness. The Print O' the Waves is finished. I have another week before I go to my sister's birthday party.
The blocking wires really helped make this easy to block.
There she is resting beside the bookshelf and the bohdran drum.

And she turned out really nice and wide. I hope my sister enjoys wearing it to fancy events like art shows and gallery openings.

Saturday, October 13, 2007

Valiant Stand-off

For Angie at Purling Oaks. We have a mild, rain forest climate, but our roses are feeling the light frost, too. You can see the beginnings of the fall colours. We tend to have more golden than red leaves and sometimes they are lost to the rains.
Progress continuing on the knitted lace edging. I am knitting in all sorts of places: mechanic, orthodontist, middle school cafeteria, music academy. Anywhere that I can still manage the pattern.
My flute instructor gave us a wonderful concert on Saturday night, accompanying (on piano) her sister, Carla Trynchuk, a world class violinist. Thanks for the inspiration!
Sunday was chock-a-block full with a baby shower squeezed in. Our babysitter grew up and has started her own family with a lovely little seven pound baby girl. They appreciated the EZ baby surprise surplice. Such celebrations can really cut in to your knitting time. But I will be brave and sodier on.

Stumbling Along

I'm on the home stretch of the knit on edging for the Print O the Waves. 20 more repeats.

I know I can do this, but since I had to pick up every stitch around, I have lost the thread. Like the CN Railway with its ever lengthening trains, I find that my thoughts are in danger of derailing every row or so. I look up and say (to myself, mostly), "Where am I?"

I have incorporated so many aids: stitch counters, enlarged (and corrected) chart, highlighted lines on said chart to help me anchor my place.

Do you make references or characteristics for each row? This is the easy row. This is the row that has the yarn over in the wrong place. This is the last row of the first set. Now we gain stitches, now we lose stitches. like a miniature farmers' market. Tip over the top.
You can see how this project is getting to me. I am thankful that I have not given myself the chance to just put it down for a little while....
Still, I still don't trust that, with the crutches I have gathered, that I am assured of success at the end of the day. At the end of the week? Certainly before October 26 when it needs to be blocked and wrapped and accompanying me on the ferry to the birthday celebration.

Friday, October 12, 2007

Don't Stumble

This is so bad. Don''t go there.
It will ask you to sign up for an ingenious search engine that will allow you to explore countless websites according to the interests you list.
It is a huge time waster.
Who knew there were so many great sites?
I caught my son on a Peter Frampton site yesterday.
Things to be discovered and explored (with all that free time).

Wednesday, October 10, 2007

Something's Gotta Give

This is a card my dear friend gave me for my birthday. She is embarking on colour work and I hope to encourage her.

There is no way I can finish my sister's shawl and get a baby sweater finished for Saturday. What am I to do? I just want to give nice gifts to let people know how important they are to me.

But on my walk I figured out a few things about bending time and finishing projects.

1) I already have a finished baby sweater for a mom I probably won't see for a while.

Why not cheat and give baby Lily the kimono and finish the denim sweater for the wee boy named Po? I'm not sure about his name, but that's what I heard and I have time to enquire later.

2) No matching Astra. Not in Chilliwack, not in the Commonwealth. They changed the gauge. I thought I had a great idea for a pi shawl. But I even went to the shop I don't like so much (cheaper than gas to Michael's) and she gave me the low-down. Even Zellers and Wallmart (gasp) no longer carry crappy Patons. It's all Bernat and Red Heart. I did not grow up with these yarns, so they are a type of acrylic that does not signify to me. I can get over Patons acrylic because my grandmother knit with it.

So: use the 4 balls to knit a sweater. Double bonus. Use the inherited stash, cut the project and get over the precedent of baby knitting for the numerous nephews. Triple bonus.

This is my son's highchair. Yes, he is 16. My mother-in-law gave it to us when he was born. It matches my dining set. I have put his name in calligraphy on the bottom.

A few years ago she requisitioned it for her home for the last 2 grand kids. I did not have a choice to decline. Their family does not work that way. What is D's is his brothers (but not vice versa). When I had the family for dinner, they brought it down for said last grandson. I just wanted to document that it is part of our home before I graciously return it. I have already decided to buy her a new one when my kids have babies so I can have it back. This is me trying not to be selfish over something I value but have no need for.

Perhaps buying some wool will help me overcome this. Unfortunately, I need to be finishing knitting instead of shopping. Soon I'll get there. I have turned the second corner and am putting the edge on the second short side. Whew.

Monday, October 08, 2007

Thanksgiving All Over

We had 17 people for dinner today. Dinner, to us, means the main meal in the middle of the day. I made a very aromatic turkey stew (about 8 litres or 32 cups), a triple batch of biscuits and coleslaw and salad tarted up for the season with dried cranberries (not craisins!- organic unsweetened really dried cranberries), pumpkin seeds and pecans. Yum.
My mom and my eldest sister brought pumpkin pies. Now this eldest sister, who also brought three giant teens, cut her own pie first so I didn't get to touch Mom's. Said mother was a bit peeved at having done all that work for nought. Me, I get to share her pie tonight with the nuclear unit.
My wonderful house-sitting (now house buying) nephew brought his charming girlfriend whom I loved before him because she was in our youth group and a camp counsellor. They are happily ever every day. They don't have to marry, but they must be kind to one another.
The musical instruments in the corner struck me as funny. This is tidied up for us. Noodle Pie plays the "bells" in my community band, the trumpet and drum kit in the middle school jazz band and french horn in the concert band. We sent the cello back. The flute and guitar are mine. We also have two sets of bag pipes, a drum kit , a djambe and bhodran drum in the basement. Boo is playing the piano most of the time, but we are all capable.
I am thankful for the abundance of music in our lives. Yesterday I led the small children in my Sunday School in a lovely multi-language tune. They make me act and think on a brighter, funnier and cuddlier level.
Hope your turkey makes you sleepy enough to sit and knit a bit.

Saturday, October 06, 2007

Not Idle, Not Accomplishing Much

I'm off my schedule.
I started ripping wallpaper in the basement on Monday and it took up two days, making my hands too tired to knit. All four walls were papered in top and bottom and with a border. Mr. Boo ripped off the picture and the glued part came off surprisingly easily. Under it I have panelling with primer on top. The primer kind of wrecks the wood, but allowed the paper to stick and to come away. I'm grumpy about the decorating because it was done by a decorated and just too much. This is the basement "theatre" now that D. has a big TV and I finally get to undecorate it and make it look like a home. Our furniture did not enhance her scheme.
I planned to paint the walls the colour of caramel corn and make the ceiling a shade or two lighter (not the dark maroon it is presently). When I sanded a bit of the wood, it came out exactly the colour I had chosen!!! Plus I think it is really of good quality and will add warmth and coziness. Not that it won't be a lot of work.
The cool skate-board dude at the paint shop said I should finish the walls first to determine their colour before I pick a ceiling and trim colour. Okay.

The edging of the Print O the Waves was mocking me, "I bet you're too tired, I bet you can't concentrate enough to manage me."
But I did get the first short side, the corner and a run at one of the long sides (30 repeats). I try not to panic about finishing it in time for the gift, but it holds me up. Not in a supportive way. Sometimes I just picked up the st st baby cardigan in denim that I'm making for the new daughter of our baby sitter. She came every week for 6 years so I could drum in the band. When she graduated, Noodle Pie was 12 and old enough to babysit others. She was our last babysitter.
Lately I've been bumping into the adults I used to babysit. It's odd. I'm off to a baby shower for one today. I already knit the angel blanket as a gift from her mother and the organic cotton kimono. So I have board books in a bag. Good gifts non-the-less.

I walked the dog instead of going to the Y because I just couldn't take the time.
Two kids home sick for two days really plays havoc on your time.
By Friday they were back at school and I threw myself into the team that co-ordinated a funeral for another very special neighbour. He was just about 70. We have a lot older people to do funerals for. The past little while has had several younger deaths. It's a bit difficult. Especially when one accepts the fact that we're just going to be doing lots more funerals in the future.

Today I'm going to the gym. I will knit. I will try to get my schedule back.

Monday, October 01, 2007

Celebrations and Set Backs

This weekend I hosted D's family for his mom's birthday. She is very generous and loves her family. The problem is, she's a wonderful cook. It has led me to learning about all kinds of spices and techniques. We had a Greek dinner of sorts with rosemary rubbed pork loin, spanikopita, couscous salad (yum) and green beans in brown butter. Mr. Boo also BBQ's beef tri tips- very impressive from a 16 year old. #1 SIL brought an amazing double chocolate cheese cake, the recipe of which she attributes to me. And #2 SIL was neither insipid nor insulting. Great success all around.

But in knitting. The words inner edging brought horror to my face. I had to pick up many hundreds of stitches along my print o the waves. I don't know why I hate this so much. It's just another form of knitting. But the counting and the spacing and the juggling of needles just makes me so sad. It took a week, but I got the inner edging done.

Now the knitted on edging (which is what I had signed up for) was another challenge. Thank goodness, eventhough I was tired on Saturday from the birthday bash, there was lots of food and the house was clean. So I sat and conquered the spacial puzzle of right side, right stitch, right bind off.... All the variables. Now I'm trying to move along the first edge without too much ripping back.

Warning: there is a mistake in the Print O' the Waves edging pattern as posted on See Eunny Knit.

I had to search back to Knitters Review comments to find in her words that on rows 9, 11, 13,15, the second last stitch is K2tog. This makes sense because she's trying to decrease the number of stitches in that set. But it didn't make sense in my stupor and chagrin. When I found it, I wrote Eunny back to apologize for bothering her. She still replied with thanks that I had found what I need.

So I hope you can fix your pattern before you rip out all your own hair.