Saturday, February 23, 2008


I wanted to be working on the Philosopher's Wool Windows sweater, but it requires a bit of "beginning time". I had to measure myself, pick a size, decide how to play with the colours and deal with the responsibility of choice.
I saw Stephanie's (Yarn Harlot) Kauni sweater and wanted one. But I already have a beautiful colorwork sweater in the stash. I went to Abbotsford last year on a very rainy day to acquire it after much obsessing. Why don't I want to knit it? Partly, I don't want a huge oversized sweater- this I should be able to partly control. Partly the work of beginning. But I have worked hard on my studies and I'm back on schedule. My stress is down because D. helped me with the printer and computer glitches. And his house guest is gone- don't get me started.
So I started. Cast on the first sleeve.
I don't have to finish it. I can work on one row or sleeve at a time while I get ready for our holiday. I don't have to jump into steeking just yet. I don't even have to carry it around because I restarted the Jaywalkers.

So soft and bluey-blue. I have a better technique for the stitches (the one Grumperina specifies) and I can see the wool because it's not too dark. It's Super Soxx. I like it. Not enough to knit it at all times, but enough to carry it around and knit in public and with friends.
The baby blanket was washed and dried in the machines. That's how I want the Mom to use it, so I thought I'd better check first. It's 40 inches across, but looks a bit small. Today I found another skein of the darker green, so I didn't use 2 skeins. That's OK. Butterscotch Pumpkin Kitty is my daughter's. I bought him in Edinburgh when she was 3 and I missed her very much. We were at a conference and didn't bring the kids. At the end of the almost 3 weeks I was ready to steal a baby. I'm glad they came with us since.

My back yard scares me. The ducks are congregating. They never migrate anymore. I don't feed them. They look like they're waiting for psychological assessment tests or something. I'm not sure they'd pass.

Wednesday, February 20, 2008

Looking Back, Looking Forward

I learned to drive in my dad's '69 Ford pick-up. It looked a lot like this. It didn't look a lot like this. My dad bought it new when he was truck driving on the Alaska Highway project out of Dawson City. We called it "Blue-Clunck". By the time I got into it, it was beaten up and you could see some of the road through a crack in the floor. But I loved driving it. My sister and I in our denim overalls and cowboy boots going to the Co-op to pick up feed. Yes, I was a hayseed.
My dad doesn't like animals much. He milked cows for 30 years.
When I was on my honeymoon, he sold the farm to his little brother and they moved to a house in "town". Seriously, I didn't even know their address when we got back from SanFransisco.
Now we live just down the street. He drives a gravel truck during the day and a kicky pick-up on his own time. It's almost his birthday and I'm hoping to copy this picture to make him a card. He'll probably tell me it's the wrong year, but then, if I'm lucky, I'll get some of the stories from when he was young. He was never foolish, but he has some good stories.
I finished and blocked the pi shawl, but D. bought the wrong battery for my camera, so we'll just have to wait. It's lounging in the living room right now, waiting for its close-up.

Monday, February 18, 2008

My Funny Valentine

D. was in New Orleans for a conference last month and chose a special Valentines gift. I bought him a Starbucks card. Set against my flute music (Scherzando by Telleman) is a teeny tiny gold flute.
I love it. It sits on my desk and keeps me company while I read and study for so many hours a day. A few years ago he bought me a silver flute and it has really made my playing a pleasure (for me). I take lessons with an amazing lady who drive out from Delta (2 hours?) to teach in our little Music Academy. I also pitch in with the Chilliwack Community Band which has varied success. It's really a place to socialize and play together. Some of the muscians have played for all of their very long lives. I'm always happy to accompany the choir at church or do some meditative music. Recently I've just focused on my lessons to find a small path of improvement in the midst of returning to school. It's been about a month. Last week and the week before were stress-riddled disasters: printer crap and download strife. Somehow I still got through that huge slog of reading and wrote the test on Saturday. I still got an A but a low one. This week's readings are much less, but I'd like to get back on schedule and write two more tests before our spring break cruise. Does it matter? Am I adding extra stress? I learned this self-imposed disciplne and goal setting from knitting.

Which reminds me: the pi baby blanket is off the needles. Thanks to a borrowed season of Grey's Anatomy which my family sits together to watch, I have a 40" circle with a bit of seed stitch border. I didn't cast on the second light ball because Butterfly cotton is pretty heavy. This is for a cousin's baby due in June. I have a tiny shrug for another June baby. I think I've lost the music sweater to my daughter, it's her music teacher who is pregnant.
I really don't know what to work on. I'll prepare the pedicure socks for the cruise, but not too far. I'll drag out the sadly neglected thistle shawl for the trip, too. I could get up to speed on that because there's not a lot of worry about me finishing it. I have some blue sock yarn ready for jaywalkers.
Most of my knitting brain has been taken up dreaming what I'll choose for the Mystic Light Shawl. Lots of surfing on the web. I have not received an answer from my favourite Vancouver wool shop. Perhaps I'll look farther afield. Stepped into my own LYS on Friday with my mom. She wanted to lasoo them to help in our fair. I think it was a successful meeting. The other shop owner blasted them in full bully public fashion last year and they were reluctant to come back. But Mom assured them she is not involved. She's a scary young thing who's out for profits and makes the wool store experience edged with fear of altercation. Noodle Pie spent her birthday money on some wild chunky yarn to make more critters.
I also finished Gabriel Garcia Marquez's "Love In the Time of Cholera". It was worth reading because our cruise stops in Cartagena, but there were lots of parts I just didn't like. I'm sorry I inflicted it on my book club. I'm retreating to an Inspector Morse Omnibus.
Looking forward to another walk in the bright sunny sunshine.
I should be studying.

Monday, February 11, 2008

In Defence of Sheep

I have joined the flock and am following the wooly herd.

This is the Mystic Light Knit-a-long. The pattern is by Anna Dalvi. I'd like to tell you it's as beautiful as her Mystic Waters shawl, but I haven't seen it. It's a surprise.
I'm totally obsessed with finding the right yarn- on the web while I should be studying.
I've a question in at Urban Yarns, so it might be easier than I think. I'd love to try something from an independent dyer, but I think I'm really looking for a semi-solid in a wool-cotton.
The first clue comes on March 26 when I'm on the cruise. I'll have to wait till I get back.
Go check it out, it's a nice group of knitters.

Saturday, February 09, 2008


I should be studying. I am studying at 10 pm on a Saturday, but I wanted to see what you all posted and I needed to catch up on my own little blog patch.
The second square of the aran afghan flew off the needles. I am enjoying revisiting the sweaters that made this left over stash of aran yarn. Beth Brown Reinsel is the sweetest and best teacher. I see her name offered in workshops on the other side of the continent and I sigh. Some day I may be able to meet her. But this Knittng Ganseys is a workshop. I bought it when our old wool shop owner achieved master knitter status, qualified for carpal tunnel surgery and sold all her books. Now she beads.
I have already begun the third block and set up a scrapbook/notebook to keep track of my progress. Reflection is one of the joys of experience. The third square is EZ's fish trap which is a bit of a challenge on the straight. I'm getting it.
I also knit up all the dark green and have added the lighter green on the pi baby blanket. It looks like a sac. It'll look better off the needles. It's good TV knitting which I shouldn't do too much of.
Tomorrow we go up the hill to discuss the family cruise. I'm looking forward to it and I'm dreading the in-law expectations. Our rule on a holiday is that everyone gets to do what they want. I will want to read and knit and walk. A lot like a regular good day.
D. and I went out to Earl's lastnight while Noodlepie and her friends saw 27 dresses. It was nice to be just a couple away from the hurricane of teens. He was supportive today and let me hide in his office to get some studying done while he recalked the tub. Thanks D.

Sunday, February 03, 2008

She's a Star

Stella is modelling the mauve mohair sweater I knit her for Christmas. She is the very beloved "Grand dog" of my very beloved next door neighbour.
This was a strange project for me. But she's so cute. And to have a contracter next door who's willing to give you advice, fix things or find the right guy is priceless. Plus his wife is a wonderful gardener, always has all the gossip and runs the college bookstore. Super!
I'm almost done the third ball of green butterfly and ready for a more challenging, less sloggy project. That means knit through it. A great relief from the studying.

Saturday, February 02, 2008

Poetry In Stitches

In honour of St. Brigid's Day and Virtual Poetry Reading inspired by , here's what I came up with after an intensive week of studying too much, and a few late nights.
Open your eyes
Open your pores
Pour through me
The light that lingers
When our energies
Share the space
Drink the time
Fingertips caressing
Dew drops
Temporary stillness
The dawn
Of understanding.