Monday, September 26, 2011

Burnt Pies

 This Sunday we did a special service at church to celebrate the 100 years of our own cemetary. I know. A bit odd. But it is a beautiful slice of quiet country and D and I have a little plot there for our ashes. The first one to be buried is one of our first ministers who liked to have apple pie for breakfast before giving the sermon. We celebrate with apple pie after church. We all bake and then just pieces out at coffee time in the hall after the service. Well, I made my pastry dough on Thursday because I had a full day of Palliative courses in Vancouver on Friday, and set time aside to bake them on Saturday morning before the big MIL birthday party.
Em was reading to me her English 101 homework about developing essays (something I am really interested in), I was knitting and probably doing 10 other things. D came in and checked on the pies just before the timer went off and they were black on top.
I had great intentions, but I just couldn't get there.
I just threw them in the garbage and went out to tackle the back garden. Worked myself into a right lather.
The bass guitar is something I'm just starting to learn, but apparently I've lost some of my baking ability.
 I didn't show you the finished Annis shawl in electrictree Jersey Giant. I did garter stitch instead of st st and I wish it was a bit bigger. We'll see how I use it as a scarf. But I have one and a half skeins left. I  like how the pattern and the colours mix.
 I won a skein of Socks That Rock Medium weight in the Bella Coola colourway from Carin at Round the Twist videocast to celebrate her second year anniversary. This was seriously on my wish list, and I have watched every show from the very beginning!! Don't miss it. There is also a Round the Twist With Carin button on my work bag now.
I forgot to take pictures of the cotton and wool sock yarn that I won from the Knit Girllls. It will probably go into a baby sweater. I love Leslie and Lala!
On Friday when I was done the course and driving home with a delightful fellow nurse, I got a text from D about a baby shower. Duh. Totally forgot I had a baby on the horizon. At Common Threads knit night we talked about doing a knit along for the hospital auxiliary: baby items for the gift shop. Knitwitty26 showed us this free pattern, Garter Yoke Baby Cardi, and I'm really happy with how it's knitting up in the drops alpaca light sock weight. It's coming along quickly and is a blessedly simple pattern, because I've caught the chest cold that has been going around and I'm sitting at home pouting, drinking tea and catching up on podcasts I missed because I've been so busy.
Time to restore and refresh.

Wednesday, September 21, 2011


I am touched by the connections that other bloggers make with their posts. Drawn into their lives and their projects, I look forward to connecting with them. When I'm working too much, or travelling, I miss the quiet that I can steal with the help of Google Reader.
Last night was our second weekly gathering of the Chilliwack Common Threads Knitting Circle. It has been a dream of mine to connect with neighbours over knitting the way I feel connected to my Ravelry and internet friends. Not a big gathering, but certainly the seeds of a community. I want it to be organic and develop without my being in charge. It's going swimmingly.
We decided that it was a good idea to knit baby layettes for the Hospital Auxiliary to sell because they are losing all their knitters to aging. But in modern knitter style, these will not be lacy pink and blue outfits. No. We're going to knit what we like and what we think young moms will like. Look out!
I have a few dreams surrounding charity knitting and it makes me feel warm that they are starting to spread.
We are also going to go heavily into Socktober (as coined by Stash and Burn podcasters) with sharing ideas and successes and failures.
When someone accuses me of being a good knitter, I just say it's because I've already made those mistakes.
This has been a good lesson for me in my life and in my work.
I hope to take my mistakes to new heights because I am not alone, but connected.
(Dahlia sweater back medallion is finished, but actually teal green).

Saturday, September 17, 2011

The Kind of September

 Life is sweet and mellow in holiday land, Banff Alberta. The weather started out cool with the warm sun on your back, perfect for my Cascade 220 Estelle sweater. But the rains came in the afternoon and the weather got cooler from there. We stayed at the Rim Rock, a local favourite, high above the Banff Springs Hotel and the townsite, but at the foot of the Sulfur Mountain Gondola, at the Upper Hot Springs. What a beautiful, grand, old hotel perched on the edge of the sheer rock face.
 We took the trail down to the Banff Springs Hotel, about 25 minutes. Not marked. Not a soul around.
 The Bow River flows beside the townsite and the falls are pretty spectacular. They are not tall, but they go on for quite a distance and they're very forceful. This is a path to the village from the Banff Springs. We felt is was well cared for and easily accessed if you didn't have mobility issues. The cool mountain air and the active sky were mesmerizing.
 Today we rented bikes and followed the 16 km (10 mile) loop around Lake Minnewanka. It turned out to be a 1,000 foot climb as well. But worth the beautiful view and the feeling of being among the Rocky Mountains.There is an abandoned mining town at the bottom of the lake and it is a favourite spot for divers. My best friend from nursing school in nearby Calgary got her ice diving ticket on this lake.
The bikes were fun and we did about 20 kms all around. There was a bit of rain, but the snow held off until we were back up at the hotel via the local bus (free to our hotel guests).
I also bought some quiviuk (mixed with merino and silk) in a beautiful green, and a cowboy hat for the roundup in October. The town has become very shiny with big expensive chain stores and countless souvenir shops. But we found some nice prints and gifts and the charm that is part of our first National Park.
 I managed to finish the back of the Dahlia sweater and started the upper back, but it's confusing. I think I'll just knit what it says and show it to the others. The second sock bloomed into a toe and now I'm on the plain foot. I am entirely converted to plain feet, princess socks. I wore my hand knit socks and my noro shawl and even my nutkin fingerless mitts. I lost one for a few minutes, but D saw someone hanging it on a little spruce tree and it came back to me. Thank you lady who was so generous and thoughtful. One less thing to worry about.
Tomorrow we fly home to our real lives.

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Dew On the Berries

We are officially between seasons now. The air is moist while the grass is turning brown. All around smells like ripe blackberries and corn. It is good climate for dreaming about knitting.
On Saturday I began a KAL with friends on the Dahlia cardigan from the new Interweave Knits. Of course Susan and Jean have blown me out of the water and finished the lace panel back. But in my defence, I was working evenings this weekend and a day yesterday.
I will have knitting time today because D and I are travelling to Banff. Just an hours flight from Abbotsford to Calgary. We will be picked up and shuttled off to the RimRock Hotel. This is  a local favourite. I did my nursing training in Calgary and spent weekends in Canmore and Banff with my Aunt Darlene.
Packing angst: I'm not ready for cold weather. I just painted my toenails (Carry On from Essie in blackberry) an I have to choose what knitting to bring. It's like choosing books or children.
I will work on the Dahlia to save face, and I will have a sweater when it's done. I'll bring the black shawl because I was supposed to finish it this summer. And I'll bring the second Lakeside sock which I started last night after knit night.
Yes, the Common Threads Knitting Circle had a gathering at the locally owned coffee shop, Decades, and two friends and two new friends came. Hopefully some from my choir will join us after I harass them after our first practice next week.
So have a good weekend. I'm going to walk outside in the Rockies. And knit a bit.

Wednesday, September 07, 2011

Double Booked

Annis is a great simple pattern made more beautiful with lace weight in Jersey Giant. I am using garter stitch instead of stocking stitch for the body.
September is upon us and I seem to be behind my calendar. While booking (double booking) December book club dates, I noticed I have a hair appointment this morning, but I don't want to give up our grand scheme to celebrate back to school with a road trip.
Last night my eldest sister took me out to dinner and a movie (The Help). We had such a good time. But I still picked up a cooked chicken on my way home from work for the family.
There was a time when my main role was to make sure my husband and children had clean laundry and fresh cookies. But now they are all of voting age and each like a different kind of cookie -hint, not my favourite.
I am feeling torn between keeping house while working many more shifts, or doing the things I have waited so long to do, at the risk of being less connected with hubby and university student daughter.
I think I live by the maxim that someone will always be disappointed and now it's no longer my turn.
So I'll make my apologies and try to make a better schedule so I don't need the washing machine when they're doing their own laundry and I'll try not to double book my calendar.

Monday, September 05, 2011

Things Look New

 It's Labour Day here in British Columbia. The roads are treacherous and full of holiday makers trying to get back to their homes after one last hoorah. We drove home last night after an excellent visit to my sister's ranch. There was riding. I like seeing my shadow on a horse (Chex). There was BBQ, there was knitting and even a fire for smores. And there were unimpeded stars for my D.
On Sunday we crashed the new yarn store on 3rd St in Kamloops. We call it my niece's store, but she has joined forces with my sister and it's really going to happen. I brought them baskets that were partially steampunk, but with a bit of collecting the eggs to suit them both. This is an awesome store! Plus I was knitting an Annis shawl in her colourway Jersey Giant. It is plums and greens that go with all my fall knits and named after one of her chickens.
I envy you if you can go to the grand opening tomorrow. They are amazing hosts. And there is a super cafe next door, Oops, that makes fresh pretzels. I will get one next time. This will be my new LYS and hopefully I'll even get to help out a bit.
Tomorrow is the first day of classes for Emily going to Kwantlen University. Maybe a bit too exciting. She gets the little car, and a new phone for her music on the highway.
I'll be going to work at my new job which doesn't feel so new anymore, but like real life. Not so overwhelming as the hospital work I was doing.
Next big thing? I hope to get a bass guitar this week. What could be shinier?