Saturday, August 28, 2010

Catching Up, Meeting Up

Some of you may recognize this beautiful smile from the Life's A Stitch blog. This was the first knitting blog I ever read and Li opened a world of wonderful people and wonderment to me. I was so lucky to find such a great writer, interesting knitter and just lovely person on my first stop.
After six or seven years, we finally met in person. She is even lovelier. She chose a cozy marina cafe that was (generously) easy to find. We were excited and silly and even philosophical at times. I know I will always enjoy a visit with her. She even gave me directions to the nearest Kal Tire to fix my flat tire. I drove the drumline in and, between the construction, the loud music and boy conversation, we were alerted to a rear flat. Never a dull moment.
Li and I exchanged gifts. Yay. I love gifts, they don't have to be for me. But this lilac wood shawl pin, made by her husband is a real treat. It looked great on my Taize Noro shawl. Thanks Li.

My trip last week to Three Bags Full during their sale was also exciting. The stash enhancement made up for the energy suck that is a stop at Ikea. I didn't fill three bags, but it felt like it. This is Mission Falls 136 Merino. It's dk and a new yarn to me. I bought enough to make Coraline.
This will replace my February Lady which is not made for someone my size. I do have a problem with knitting too big. Hopefully I can overcome it.

This malabrigo worsted is for Gretel. I bought a bunch of patterns when they were donating money to the Haitian relief. I need a hat for walking the dog when it gets cold. This may prove addicting.

And this is gorgeous Frog Creek Fibers that I won from the Knitting Triathlete's fundraising for Make A Wish Foundation. I heard about it from the Knit Girllls podcast and feel drawn to the chance to help pediatric patients (plus win wool!) You can see it's in my favourite colour.. What do you think about fingerless mitts for me?
I was too tired to walk today after hoofing it around the PNE till 10pm. D and I took the bikes out for a country block of riding. Trying to move every day. Trying to drink my water and make good, low fat, high fibre food choices.
Now I have lots of yarn choices, lots of knits in my queue and a virtual friend turned real.

Thursday, August 26, 2010

Kitty Pi

To thank Wendyknits for the wonderful Pi Knit A Long (KAL) I made a Kitty Pi blanket for the local cat shelter, Safe Haven. Our local SPCA has been mired in politics and attitude and no longer serves this community. And yet there are animals in need. Some local people set this up and the city now has a contracted Dog Control who are awesome and actually love dogs. When I was young, we had a real dog catcher, Don Price. We kids were all afraid of him as he roamed the alleys in his van and there were wild accusations of kidnapped puppies. We didn't have a dog until we moved to the farm.
We always had cats! I miss them now, but Emily has allergies and when her last cat, Allegra Belle, had to be put down when she was about 10, we just decided not to replace her. Maybe I'll get D another persian some day.
I used the 9 stitch cast on, knit 4 rows, increased, knit 8 rows, increased, knit 12 rows of the swatch chart, increased, and then knit till I was out of yarn. I was aiming for 24 inches and came in just shy of that.

Here is my Pi KAL at the end of clue 2. The Ella Rae merino from Urban Yarns is so soft and just squishy enough. I have knit Elizabeth Zimmerman's Pi shawl as a baby blanket many times. I've used Patons baby wool when it was the height of our shopping choices, then Lannett, especially nice in red. The last few have been in butterfly cotton with the spiral recipe that is written so you don't have to count rows.
This incarnation, a tribute to EZ, is just the right amount of new and familiar.
I received a Sweet Georgia pin with my yarn club delivery. And it's a good thing, because I was putting on my Merino Silk Lace Ishbel and had a shock.

My finger went right through a hole. I just about screamed. After blocking and wearing it for a month, I found a dropped stitch. I just captured it and set it aside. Jean said she would hold my hand while I got the little crochet hook out and worked it up the row. I may have to sew it? No idea. Not going there. I will turn to my Pi for now.

Sunday, August 22, 2010

Enjoying the City

For Valentines, D gave me tickets to the Michael Buble concert. We went on Friday and it was so much fun. He really is a great performer. Plus he donated all the proceeds of that concert to the Children's Hospital. What a guy!
We went in on Thursday and stayed at our time-share, walked around, had dinner and did a bit of shopping. What a treat. There were cupcakes.
On Friday morning we walked across the Burrard Street Bridge. It's my favourite. We went to Granville Island, but it was very busy with tourists.
We went ot Sweet Georgia's studio to pick up our yarn club yarn. Her studio is so hip and I got to meet her mom. I wore my Ishbel made of her merino silk and they were both so sweet about loving it. The yarn is so exciting, but some members won't have theirs yet, so I'm not going to take a picture just yet. I may use it to make a Maia shawlette.
This is the bridge from below. The third tower from the right is where we stay.
On Saturday we went shoe shopping to the only shoe store D likes.
I even found a pair for my large orthodic hoppers.
In the afternoon we met up with friends from our UBC days. Great people. Smart, funny and successful. They are way behind on the kiddies, though, with collectively 4 under 7. I had to go to the PNE to pick up Emily from a drumline performane and she played with the kids nicely.
There were knitters. Yay.
The Pi shawl is definitely coming along and good car knitting (when I'm not driving).
This week I'm driving in again to carpool with the kids. Not part of the original deal! What I would really have liked is to have been asked and given some sort of a schedule instead of scrambling on the cell phone while shopping in Williams & Sonoma. Why am I always so unrealisitic? Plus I just mopped the floor after she baked while I was at work. This doesn't work for me either as all the baking is beyond my calorie limit and only served to the other drummers.
So tonight when I drive in to pick them up, I will allow myself a great listen (Stash and Burn- must save it) and a great coffee.
Enjoy the little things.

Friday, August 13, 2010

Making the Best of It

This is one of the best compliments of pattern and yarn that I have ever knit. It's the Toast Cosy by This is Knit. The super soft Baby Alpaca Sport by Luxury Collection is bulky but light. I made two hats of it for friends' boys when they were wee. I was looking for just the right yellow, but I knew I could find it in a ribbon. This is for a dear sweet knitter who is having back pains and could use a bit of comfort. It knit up in just over one day and the designing was impeccable.
It was my turn on Wednesday to brave the traffic of the highway construction- twinning the Port Mann Bridge- and deliver the drummers to their practice at the PNE fairgrounds. Despite the early start, the slow traffic and the van full of very big boys, we made it in good time. I got to tour their suite at the Pacific Coloseum- just like rock stars! And then I made the best of it and went wool shopping. This is a special bonus because now D doesn't have to trail behind. They should really put a computer store next to every wool shop, like a babysitting service.
I found Cheryl Oberle's book, Folk Shawls, at Three Bags Full. I don't think I've ever been in such a well organized shop. There were precisely 9 skeins of each colour of Cascade 220 in each cubby. The effect was entrancing. I bought the blue and grey for the bird cage mittens in 60 Quick Knits that I won from Grumperina. The Koigu was hung on the wall like a tapestry. You could feel so brave mixing colours! I didn't get the name of the lady, think it was the owner, but she showed us her Pi Shawl in progress. She's right: the Blackberry Ridge Yarn was the perfect match. I will buy some when they get the new colours in. Even the other customers were bery organized and friendly.
This is what I'm going to use to knit my Wendy Knits Pi Shawl Knit A Long. It's Ella Rae Lace Merino and machine washable. I loved the semi solid turquoise (although the blue in this picture is nice too). Wendy starts sharing the patterns on Sunday.
This I bought at Urban Yarns which is a whirlwind of happy knitting. Such a welcome and an overwhelming mix of colours and yarns. I love this store at the gate of UBC where I once was a student.

I also bought this Koigu from Three Bags Full because it reminded me of an iris garden. My Mom's name is Iris and I think I'll make a small shawl for her birthday.
I obviously should have posted earlier, because now I have to say hi to KelleBelle who came up to me at intermission of Kooza to say hi and ask about my Multnomah shawl. By name!! She even said hi to me on Ravelry! The show was awesome. The crowd was lots of fun! And I have met a new member of my tribe. That's surely making the best of it.

Monday, August 09, 2010

All's Fair

I finally brought in some of my Queen Elizabeth roses. They are original to the house, so the same age as me. I had it on my list to trim them for a while, but it is a big job.
My dear knitting friend, Diana, gave me the pitcher for my birthday. It was also an incentive.

The resulting branches were about 6 wheel barrows full.

Thank goodness Scott was home to help.

Saturday was the Apple Pie Contest at the fair. My Mom invented this and has convened it for 4 years. This year I was the MC and our judges were the baker from the Airport Cafe, Chef Dez, and our Mayor, Sharon Gaetz. They were kind and funny and spoke well. My sister, Debora won! She wore the apron I made her and so did Mom.

We have an agricultural fair. There were lots of 4H animals and kids and lots of vegetables and handicrafts.

It was lots of fun to be included, and I saw all sorts of people I knew.
Sunday was Open House at the camp and I took Carly, our black lab. She loved, loved, loved it. Even when she was on the leash. More nice people.
This week I help take Emily to the PNE practices for drumline. Plus I try to catch up with my housework.
The blue baby blanket is done and ready for blocking.
The silver Meandering Vines Shawl is started in Panda Silk and such a great pattern! I need to get at it for a September birthday.
Also a great pattern: Toasty Cosy. I'm making a hot water bottle cover for a dear friend with back pain. I can hardly stand the softness of the Luxury Collection Baby Alpaca Sport (which is very chunky). The pattern includes the increases in just the right way. This will be a quick knit for another September birthday.
I will also start the 10 stitch blanket in rainbow coloured Mini Mochi for an October baby.
Maybe the housework will have to wait. I've worked so hard last week, it's only fair.

Friday, August 06, 2010

Fair Warning.

Knitting Circle yesterday was fun with duelling ipad and laptop. I can't begin to say how much we appreciate Ravelry and what it has done for our knitting lives. We went over all the gauge, yardage and vest options for a new project with so much information at our fingertips!
My new bag will be for knitting. There was a sample sale at a local shop. Yay. It even matches Ishbel.
I find myself compelled to knit on the fuzzy blue baby blanket. I started the i-cord edge because I was worried about yardage, and found it didn't take much. So I'm adding a few strips to the log cabin on the other sides. If I have to keep asking if it's too small, just know that it is. I want a generous gift, and I'd like to use up most of the yarn.
I have other knit projects that I "want" to knit, but can't seem to put down the baby items.

High summer is making my flowers tired. The air quality tanked with pollution and wild fires. this morning is a bit cooler, so I'll cut down my 8 foot Queen Elizabeth roses and hope they will bloom again before the end of the season.
My clematis wilted despite watering, so I think I will plant a honeysuckle like the one above. We had a huge one at the farm (as well as Queen E roses) and the vine attracted lots of hummingbirds. I don't put out food for them, but find planting for them easier.
I'm catchng up from being away at camp and working this week. Every surface is cluttered and sticky. The floors have the usual dog hair. It must be cooler for me to notice.
This weekend I host my Mom's Apple Pie Contest at the Fair, and then lead worship on Sunday. Whew! Emily is in and out of Vancouver, preparing to drum at the PNE and Scott is trying to pinn down housing for next year at UVIC. Glad I can be home to support (and knit).

Tuesday, August 03, 2010

Brightening Up

Emily picked some of our flowers the other day. They brighten up our table.
Ishbel brightened up our floor. She's really not so grey but more plummy. I love, love, love the yarn. I will buy more Sweet Georgia as soon as I can. I am so happy I ripped her back and knit a few more sets of A and B. The finished size is 30x64 inches and so drapey, it could be a scarf.

My two shifts were great with a wonderful team (as usual). Double time for the BC Day holiday. I even picked up part of a shift tonight to help them out. But I'm tired and groggy. Working on the two simple projects (blue baby blanket and woodland shawl) makes it easier to keep knitting.
We're having a wild thunder storm right now. More summer fun.