Wednesday, April 27, 2011


We had a grand Easter. I worked Good Friday, days. On Saturday, I drove over to Victoria to collect Scott after finals and bring him home. We packed up his kitchen, went out for lunch, bought some wool,  and had a glorious ferry ride. I made him drive home so I could knit.
Easter Sunday morning, it's our tradition to have a "sunrise service". We are blessed that the mountains keep the direct sun from shining till about 7 am. This year 40 friends joined us in our country cemetary for guitar and singing. My dear friend led the worship and I picked the music. We had three guitars this year and that made it go much more smoothly. The fingerless mitts I knit our music director helped, too.
At church there was a gorgeous anthem, I did story time with my big ostrich egg and D and Emily played some bebop on trumpets for the offeratory. We ended with the Hallelujah Chorus. Remember how I spent all fall learning that? What a pay off!
We had burgers for supper. I was out of steam, and that's what they wanted. It's nice to have BBQ man back. Then we watched the King's Speech which the kids hadn't seen, weren't interested in, and ended up loving.
On Monday I was to work nights (maximizing holiday pay) so I put a roast in the oven and the kids sat down to teach me Settlers of Catan. It is just as awesome as everyone says. We will play more of that.
I loved Miss Kalendar's episode of Brass Needles Podcast that spoke of Community. I really believe in this. I like to sing in a choir, volunteer in the Sunday School and work with a great team. I am trying to nurture a knitting circle for our own to share ideas and mistakes and quirks. It's starting to pick up steam. I am so thankful for the on-line knitting community. You made such a difference in the way I enjoy my craft and I look forward to reading your blogs, stalking you on Ravelry and listening to your podcasts. Where do I find the time? I steal it for knitting.
I hope to cast on the Daybreak shawl soon, to knit along with several podcasts. If you listen, you may get a code for $2 off. One of the fun things about this Knit A Long (KAL) is that everyone is spreading out their sock yarn stash to see what two skeins look good together. None of mine did, so I bought some Misty Alpacas at Beehive with that in mind, but it's too fuzzy to knit right now. So at my LYS, I found some Heritage in a plain colour (charcoal) to go with my variegated lake blue skein. Yay.
First I must finish this big cotton baby blanket in gull lace and grey cotton. Plus I have a nephew sweater on the needles, but it's brown. (My family is a big part of my community) I started the Meliabella's Pedestrian Cowl in gorgeous red Malibrigo to cut the dullness. It's a KAL from months ago, but Fibrenymph won't mind. I already had the pattern in my favourites. It will go in the gift drawer for Christmas when it's done.
Next week I am helping my sister, the forester, cast on a chunky sweater. She taught me how to knit, but hasn't done it in years, and suffered some set backs. No problem returning the favour.
Also my LYS asked it I could teach crochet. I offered to help in the shop or teach. Crochet is what they need. So I'll make a proposal for a beginning class for Monday afternoons and go way too deep into research and sourcing. They have just started promoting the knitting of "Boomer caps". This is a local effort that I will jump into. I actually spent a few days at the Comox base learning about search and rescue when I was in the Reserve Medical Corps.
We may use these caps as a KAL for the World Wide Knit In Public event Saturday June 11. We will be at Decades Coffee House, a locally owned cafe that gives back to the community. Maybe see you there.

Thursday, April 21, 2011

What Have I Missed?

 Did I tell you I scored some Wollmeise from a destash? Leslie and Lala were giving complicated instructions on how to obtain this holy grail of yarns. I chose the simplest route of finding someone who wanted to sell theirs, and I made a new friend in the mix.
Can't say enough about Fibernymph's yarn. Bright and cheerful colours like the podcaster. This is destined to be my next favourite shawl.
 My least favourite is this alpaca lace. I tried to knit the Diamond Fantasy Shawl last summer, but couldn't keep my brain on it. I don't remember taking scissors to it, but that was the impression when I was frogging it (into sad little bits). I saved the beads. Perhaps I'll make the Percy shawl? I need a black shawl to go with my musician black clothes.
This is the beginning of a Butterfly Cotton baby blanket for another cousin. I chose grey because they don't know yet if it's a third boy. The lace pattern is gull stitch from EZ.
 Blue Ripples is done. It blocked funny: longer on the edges. But that doesn't matter.
It goes with the others to Ladysmith, South Africa to a hospital via the Ruth Mailbag Group. I guess Joy found me on the Ravelry knitting for charity group and invited me to a Lenten knit challenge. Tomorrow is Good Friday and I knit every day on these three blankets. The cotton log cabin is donated on behalf of Jess and Casey's new baby. Rather than drown the sweet thing in knitted items, some of us are paying the blessings forward.
I'm back on the Able Cable sweater for nephew #7. I like the cable pattern on the sleeve, but it's a 51 inch chest and will take a while. My other long term project is the Lady Eleanor blanket for Emily's grad. I really have until September, if she moves out to a university, but I'm on track.
Sock? I can't even hear it calling.
I'll take the grey gull blanket to work tomorrow for my breaks. There aren't many nurses on that floor and I usually get my break alone. I'll listen to podcasts and knit.
Then Saturday is collecting the boy from his second year at UVic. Sunday is playing guitar at the sunrise service and maybe ukelele at the regular service. How can I wangle a nice meal without cooking too much? Maybe the family will help.
Best wishes for a blessed Easter.

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

What's Next?

Is it because it's spring, or because it's still snowing that I feel the need to start new things? I walked the dog up the hill on Saturday and took this photo toward the valley. Today I sign up at a new ladie's gym, a special offer for hospital employees.
I am giving up my computer again for the rest of its fix up. I look forward to ordering my mac book soon.
The blue blanket is finished, I need to steam block the curling edge, but carefully because it's acrylic.
I started a new blanket for another cousin. It's grey and so is the swap square I'm knitting. If I add the lace weight cardigan, I have no colour at all. I want to start a pi shawl in black, but I need to get some colour in my knitting first.
Listening to Neil Gaiman's Neverwhere on my iphone is delightful. Reading Laurie King's Language of Bees on my ipad is going well. Now I add learning Spanish in case I can go on mission to Mexico next year like my husband did last month with Project Help Mexico.
My delightful 12 string guitar has been neglected. I really haven't connected with it. I always choose my 6 string. But the music store said it was no problem to return it and exchange it for a bass guitar! I first wanted to play bass in 2001!
This is a week of to do lists for choir, fundraising dinner and Easter. Whew! I think being at work on Friday will be a nice distraction.

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Good Neighbours?

 Yesterday was a big project day. We have had trouble with this neighbour for about 4 years. Biting dogs, raging daughter, late parties, and dead cars. But the worst was their closing off our shared driveway because we are bad neighbours.
Our last neighbour rented the basement to drug dealers and thieves, but we had less trouble with them.
So I talked to my friend and realtor (years ago) and she said it would be OK to make a barricade to hide their barricade of broken items and garbage cans.
I fretted. I struggled with my anger.
Finally, I went to the gravel pit.
 The guy who works there, and loads my Dad's gravel truck was in my home room. He sat right between me and this same neighbour! He let me take a few cans worth for a pittance if I shovelled it myself. the pile was huge!
 I filled the planters and went in search of cedars. Brian Minter said that only cedar hedging would survive the winter in containers. I had hopes of wild roses or bamboo. But I settled on these. There is a new Home Depot in town and the workers are extraordinarily nice. So 15 trees later, and some pretty sore muscles:
 I needed narrow containers to not take too much of our driveway. I'm really happy with the little soldiers. They'll need a lot of watering to begin with. They sprouted before the neighbours could say anything so I don't have to talk to them . The last time she asked me to pay for half the fence to keep her dogs in her own yard, I said, "I have nothing to say to that."
I didn't meam to channel Joe Versus the Volcano, but it was so ludicrous and I wanted to spew bile.
When Jesus said, "Love your neighbour." he included the person next door. It's hard. But my solution gives me something I am happy about instead of an ugly chain link fence that would make me angry every time I saw it. The cedars are also impermanent because it is a legal easement and I follow rules. Let it be.
In knitting I am chugging along on the blue ripples blanket and even updated my Ravelry page. I was just reminded at the MIL dinner on Monday that another cousin is expecting a baby in June. I had just given away my back up blanket. So as a reward for the hard work, I bought some butterfly cotton in grey and am making a third blanket for this family. Their kids love my blankets and the parents are certain to let me know. Flattery will get you everywhere. If only I had a few good words for my neighbour.

Monday, April 11, 2011

Brighten Up

 I love white flowers. I wouldn't want all flowers to be white, because then my favourites wouldn't stand out. But I love to have white flowers around.
Our trip to Victoria was surrounded by sunshine and blossoms. The day before, at home, it hailed. And the day we got home was gloomy, cold and rainy. The sky was veiled in stagnant grey like a death veil.
We had a great visit with some of our favourite people who served us smoky Rooibus tea and marmalade pound cake.
The marvelous euphonium player came to the campus to give Emily a tour of the music building, introduce her around and set her up in a practice room. Can't thank him enough. Em gave him the Mr. Rogers sweater she knit and decorated with a bass clef.
Our rooms on campus were way too comfortable. I don't think they should encourage parents to loiter.
Here's hoping her audition and interview are enough to join the good people there.
 This is one of my favourite trees. It lost its little house a few years ago and can look quite spooky in the fall. But today it is celebrating with bouquets.

My CPR class was cancelled, so I walked the dog before the rain came back. The long walk. The one that I couldn't manage for several years. I am tired, but thankful that I can get out and move around.
The pink baby blanket, she be done. The blue ripple baby blanket is well on its way. I will certainly make this one again, maybe with my sock leftovers. It's the one that so many Grandmas knit in the 70's. I'm learning that just because a lot of people like something, that doesn't mean it's crap. It proved the perfect knitting for the ferry ride. Plus I had Em drive the way home. Benefits of parenting teens.
I cast on the JapaneseGarden shawl in my clearance find of Diamond Luxury Collection superfine Egyptian Cotton in orchid purple. Yum. Can't get serious with it until I finish the baby blankets.

Plus we visited Boutique de Laine which is close to the campus in Cadboro Bay. What a great shop to buy bags of yarn. I have had trouble in my travels finding a sweater's worth of yarn. But there Em got enough Comfort DK for another boy's cardigan and I got a bag of Noro Kuryon 211 to use as the neutral in my Mitred Cross blanket. This I can't cast on until the grad entrelac blanket is done. But I got my stash on. Planning for the next big project can help get you through this one.

Wednesday, April 06, 2011

Looking Up

 The forsythia is brave enough to come out, eventhough it is still cold and rainy parts of the day.
 The pink baby blanket is coming along. Its simple enough to knit through a fever and unpleasantness. I'm feeling better, too. Well enough to attempt a crochet cast off from It's pretty neat, but a long way around. The wool was already knit and frogged before it was donated to my charity stash, but I have faith that blocking will asuage the gauge.
The cotton baby blanket benefitted from blocking (and thwacking). I have already cast on a blue ripple blanket to round out my Lenten knitting. These are destined for an HIV hospital in South Africa. I was invited through a charity knitting group on Ravelry, but I still felt special as it was a good fit for me.
Tomorrow I take Emily to UVic for her audition to music school. We're staying on campus so we can bug Scotty and later having tea with some of the best people on the planet. Look forward to typical ferry crossing shots. I'm going to take my good camera because I really miss it. Maybe the sun will peak out. Here's hoping.

Friday, April 01, 2011

Under the Weather?

How could I possibly feel worse than freezing rain and highwinds? The front spruce trees have added throwing cones to the dropping of needles. And I didn't sleep much last night. Not because I was at work and had planned to stay up, but because my whole body rebelled against my take-out dinner. It should have been a treat, but they have a new cook and I think he is fast and loose with cumin. I cannot manage that spice and have to cut out most Indian and Mexican cuisine.
I'm lucky to have an autopilot knit in the Pinwheel baby blanket. The colour, as Missouri Star mentioned, is Pepto Bismal, so that my go toward healing. I missed my knit and movie afternoon and pulled the plug on tomorrow's yarn crawl.
I am well enough to go through some blogs and podcasts. Looking forward to some rest and reading.