Friday, July 30, 2010

Seems Like a Year

I got back home from camp today.
I had my birthday up there which meant I had lots of great visitors and wonderful hugs from the very young campers. D brought up a big cake for everyone.
The counsellors this year were so awesome. They are responsible for 6-8 little kids for a whole week of water sports, campfire and dining experiences and they make all the difference. Thanks guys! I had a steady stream of kids in my nurse's cabin: from homesick tummies to cracking great head injuries. There are extra lifeguards all over the place and I never felt I was alone in making decisions.

Here are some 7 year olds learning to kayak on our lake. They really took to it. My cabin is a few steps from the left hand of the photo.

And we offered sailing this year. Amazing! These kids learned so much. So much that I don't know. Plus I won't know because I stay on the grounds to field injuries. But it was stunning!
For my birthday, D gave me an ipad. (Yay). Mom gave me a great cookbook from Cooking Light. The kids gave me another pandora charm and some purdy's chocolates that are always on my list. Emily was especially thoughtful and picked me up from camp.

When I got home, I had a surprise from Grumperina. I won her knittaversary contest by very cleverly entering a random comment. Yay! I love Cascade 220 and will dive into this book as soon as I do inventory on my works in progress:

Ishbel was cast off at camp and then squirrelled away with my unnecessary warm clothes and raingear to keep her silk and merino goodness safe. I will block her in the days to come as I get my sea legs and even go back to work.
Thanks to the simple garter stitch, the blue blanket is growing quite quickly. I have lot of yarn and will try for 36 inches square (or so) before I put on an icord edge. I will be working on this mainly in the next few days (see working reference).

Love the Woodland Shawl. It's rhythms of lace are perfectly suited to my own needs. I knit next to the lake and during meals at camp. But "somehow" my needle broke on Wednesday. It may have had something to do with lots of kids and teens at camp. There were no witnesses. I was grateful for my emergency knitting (blue blanket).
So my laundry is hanging on the line and I'm catching up on mail. But I wanted to read your blogs and post my own to let you know how much I think of you, dear reader. Thanks for being there. It seems like it's been a year.

Sunday, July 25, 2010

The Ravelry Game

These nasturtiums were planted for Angie.
Like "Chinese Whispers" or "Telephone", ideas travel through Ravelry and change and grow. I am loving it! Have you seen the Friends' Activity button on Ravelry? I can see what each of my friends have been faving and queueing. Then I found out I can see what each of their friends are doing. How many great patterns have I found because someone else "told me".
Take Lala's Simple Shawl. I had already faved this, but I love Lala on the Knit Girllls videocast and had to take another look. I decided it was perfect for a prayer shawl of mixed green yarns.
I got a new friend when KrazyQuilts faved it. Next thing I know, she's casting on one of her own and I can't wait to see it.
I spent so many years buying yarn at Woolworths and knitting from my grandmother's old Patons patterns that I still can't believe the wonderful world of colour, ideas and characters that I have been invited into.
Our dinner party went well last night. One of the ladies already knits a bit and we've shared children's patterns in the old days. The other asked if I could do fancy stitches. Welcome Ishbel to the party. When can I teach you and what will be your Ravetar?

Saturday, July 24, 2010

Planning and Preparation

Summer has already passed her zenith. The dusk comes earlier and the dew is heavier. I'm so glad we had the trip to the Island to celebrate the high summer sunshiny days. This is my favourite time of the year. Tonight we are having a dinner party. It has been so long that we're a bit excited. Just two couples on the deck with barbequed salmon, but we hope to get back to more of this.
I crave the deep, dappled shade of my lakeside cabin. Tomorrow I go to camp for a week. Of course I bring easy and complex knitting, reading, writing, guitar, flute, and I considered watercolours this year. I 'm not for packing lightly when I have a big cabin and some quiet time. I have the beginner campers, aged 6-8. There aren't 100 of them like last year, so I'm hoping to catch some rest. Last year I came out of it exhausted and went straight to night shifts and pneumonia. I did work last week and gave great care, but forgot some paperwork and felt like an idiot. I need to do a better job on my long weekend shifts.

Still no word on my flower girl's baby. But I did finish the blanket and I'm writing up the "unvention" in a pdf. That's a big move for me. I'm really happy how this turned out.

The seed stitch border is done log cabin for simplicity.

It's about 36 inches square. That's the biggest I like a baby blanket. I also have the blue/green one if she has a second boy.

Jean and I signed up for Sweet Georgia's Yarn Club. We're so happy with her silk blend lace weight and the colours are the best. And she is the loveliest person!

I'm afraid that Urban Yarns in Vancouver is going to be our LYS from now on. We get great service at one of the shops locally, but the selection is not always on my mark. They refuse to look at knitty or Ravelry.

I'm so angry at the other shop right now because they have a summer 40% off sale that they not only don't advertise, but they actually hide. Direct questions were deflected this week! And they know us by name. I just won't shop there when the client is the least important. I'm not prepared to be crabby all the time just to get the deals.
I wish I lived near Needles in the Hay . I was born in Peterborough but have no memories of it. We moved around a lot and then to BC when I was 3 years old. But this looks like the kind of shop I could really enjoy.

So now my conscience is free to shop on line or when travelling or wherever I choose. I could ride my bike to that shop, but I don't feel like a neighbour.

I will lick my wounds at camp and calm myself with the truth that I really have a wonderful stash, no real needs and lots of projects in my queue.

Sunday, July 18, 2010

Wedding Journey and Joys

We travelled, the four of us, to Nanaimo this Friday. There were orcas in the bay! The big kids were good companions, eventhough we shared one room. My three sisters and almost all their boys were there. Plus my one niece with her young family. It was a great time.
There was lots of fun. The bride is beautiful and we are lucky to add her to our family. Perhaps this younger nephew will teach the older ones how it's done. The girls all danced for hours at the Country Club. We enjoyed the ocean breeze in the late night and sat on the deck by the golf course talking and laughing.
This is where they we married. It made the 2 hour drive to the ferry, the 2 hour ferry ride and the trip up Island worth it. Ishbel was a good travelling companion. And it's perfect knit up in the Sweet Georgia Merino Silk.
We had fun last week when Jean was trying to get the perfect yarn for a wedding shawl (for her, she already made one for the bride) and couldn't find it in a shop. Her son was in Vancouver. I phoned Felicia at Sweet Georgia and he went by with the dress. They bonded and friended each other on facebook and everything. He wants her studio. He also knits and joins us sometimes on Thursday morning knitting circle.
This is where we stayed. The Inn at Long Lake. It was lovely and a good spot for families to gather and hang around.
D was sad because his Grandma's house was right across the highway and it was demolished after it was sold this spring. We did get to visit Grandma in her apartment in Nanaimo. She is really content there.
And we are content to be home after a lovely journey back.

Saturday, July 17, 2010

Field correspondence

I'm trying out my new iPad from the hotel in Nanaimo. It's a bit tricky, but great fun. With the wifi here, I can sit on the deck. But there's lots to learn and I don't seem to be able to download a photo of this beautiful lake.
My birthday isn't for a few weeks, but my FIL let the secret out, so D gave it to me early. I was just saying I needed to joint the 21st century with an iPhone. But this is better. Pretty. Shiny. I can check out ravelry !
We have a family wedding this afternoon: one of my many nephews and so far everyone is behaving pretty well. My two oldest sisters arrive today with their grown boys. And I even get to see my great nephew, Patrick. he's the one I knit the bunting for. Won't be wearing the wool sac today.
ishbel is back on the needles and she enjoyed the ferry ride and the orcas off the bow. I wanted it larger, and I had almost half the yarn left, so I decided to be in charge of my knitting. It hurt for a little bit as I was trying to figure out how much to rip and where I was when the stitches were seated. Now I'm knitting patterns A and B until I have more than enough. more drama to ensue.
This is your field correspondent from the patio overlooking the lake.

Monday, July 12, 2010


The garden is so happy to have a few days of heat. There has been enough shade, too, that I haven't wilted. It helps to go to the lake and the camp where it's more pleasant. Today is raining, so I can knit indoors instead of on the deck.
The quick Inspiration Baby Blanket is moving along. I hope to finish the last set of stripes today and start the border. Will I get it done before the baby is born? If it's a boy, I'm already set. But I worry it's a girl. The only girl in that family. Hence the "My Little Pony" colours. I know a few 4 year olds who would choose these colours. So I try to put my own aesthetics on the back burner (with all my other knitting!). Get this done, then I can do some more summer fantasy lace.
I'm also writing up this simplest of patterns and hope to post a .pdf. Yay!

Friday, July 09, 2010

Wake Up!

I worked last night and again am thankful for the great nursing team. Some of our patients are so sick, but we are able to improve their comfort, and even their health.
I have been invited to the party.
When I woke up, I had an email from Lynn Zimmerman, the Knitting Triathalete who is holding a fundraising contest to raise money for Make a Wish Foundation. I heard about her through her friends, the Knit Girllls, a great podcast that I'm addicted to. Well they went out of their way to let me donate by paypal when the program spit me out for not having a home state. Thanks so much.
Then I got an email from Grumperina. I know! She has been one of my favourite bloggers for years. Eventhough it is frustrating that she has only been knitting a short while, her ideas and patterns are full of awesome math and construction detail that inspire my own work. Plus her eye for colour, and her tenacity in solving difficult problems make me feel like I'm not alone.
But I won a prize! You haven't read that too many times! I chose the Cascade 220 book, 60 Quick Knits. I feel like it's an early birthday present, and belated Bloggiversary present, too. I missed my fourth anniversary of my blog on June 17th. I guess I was living in the real world a bit.
But I love the connection I get from reading your comments and your blogs and seeing what you're knitting.
I've got my coffee and my list of favourite blogs and it's a delight to wake up today.

Thursday, July 01, 2010