Tuesday, May 31, 2011


Despite the hectic schedule, I finished the first Stash Dash project. One of the other nurses watched in horror as I knit at the desk with my eyes closed and was slowly slumping over. This hat was of my own devices. Thanks to Math For Knitters and her excellent discussion of using stitches in groups of eight, I went from the top down. 
So cast on 8 stitches with EZ's crochet method, knit front and back and round, knit a round, knit front and back a round. The cool thing is deciding which stitches will be knits and which purls. When I had 2x2 ribbing, I had enough stitches. I like a ribbed toque. I need to work on a better cast off, this was the second attempt. Lala said something about crochet. That would work with the end and the beginning being the same. Nice symmetry.
Guess what's new?!! My amazing niece has a podcast. You must listen! It's not long. And she is so naturally funny. She forgets to tell you that she is a spinner, dyer and designer.
I hope to get more plants in the planters today. It's supposed to rain to celebrate the beginning of Junuary. D is in Ontario where it is humid and hot like Hawaii. 
Wish me luck linking a photo onto the Ravelry boards.

Friday, May 27, 2011

Three Big Bites

 With encouragement from the Knitmore Girls I am trying new things. This is my very first drop spindle spinning. It is way over spun, but it is a pretty consistent width. So much to learn. I also have some more colourful roving. I'll spin that and ply them. Maybe I'll have enough for some fingerless mitts. Thanks to Willow for bringing hers to knit night, to Caroline at electrictree.etsy.com for encouraging me and for those youtube tutorials. This is the very beginning and I have learn to relax and use less muscle. Let the yarn do the work.
 I bought the fabric for a lap quilt. At Easter, someone had a lap quilt that was a gift and I was enamoured. I would love someone to make me one, but I can be my own friend, too. My sewing machine is relegated to the basement and I think I may be able to make this work for me in the, hopefully, warm summer days ahead.
And a hula hoop. I've never been able to get one going. I have all summer to get over that. There's no way I'm going to reach 50 and not be able to hula hoop.
This is a huge weekend. I work nights tonight, my choir is in the Honours Concert tomorrow and Em plays and accepts a trumpet scholarship. Sunday I lead church with Folk Music, attend a concert with my mom's sorority and go to a Youth event that sets up our team for the Cancer Relay For Life next weekend. Pray for quiet knitting time.

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Palomar Observatory

 A two hour road trip is not necessarily bonus knitting time. We drove from the desert floor on the palms to pines road, over the mountains. It was a pretty winding road toward San Diego (where my sister was visiting and I didn't know) and up to the Observatory at Palomar. It is a 200 inch telescope and was the largest in the world when it was built. The dome weighs 1,000 tons.
 Having been built in the 1930's, it has beautiful wooden doors with brass handles. The visitors' centre is gracious and inviting. The dome was built with visiting areas and the foyer has a bust of George Ellery Hale, the driving force behind the project, with his quote, "Make no small plans, Dream no small dreams." He died before its completion.
 I love the classical shape of the pure white dome. D is a big astronomy geek. This telescope helped unlock some of the mysteries of black holes and mapping the galaxy.
 On the way back, I did manage to do some knitting. I started the grey stripes on my Daybreak shawl. We stopped and took pictures of the green golf courses in the valley of Palm Springs and Palm Desert.
We loved the variety of plants and wild life. There were roadrunners on our Desert Willow golf course, and creepy white lizards. They have now been joined by long legged bunnies. The gum trees remind us of Australia. The bougainvillea of Hawaii (and maybe North Vancouver) and the palms are just happy.

Sunday, May 22, 2011

There Was Knitting

 I worked on the Daybreak stripes on the way home from Palomar Observatory. Even though it was a windy road, I got a good start and more when we watched Six Feet Under in the evenings. I have had the blue handpainted Cascade Heritage sock yarn for quite a while. I was worried that the charcoal would be too cliche because I feel it's obvious, but I love it.
 At home I cast on and started the Wendy's Summer Mystery Shawl of some periwinkle I bought in Palm Desert. I'm almost done the first clue. It feels a bit scratchy, but I love the colour progressions. It has the stupid name of 'Charming' and has the stupid label of 100% wool, made in China. But it's periwinkle blue and I wanted a souvenir for this shawl. The store is full of 'novelty' yarn and the owner said, "I don't do subtle". Too true. I did score some awesome lace weight black silk and alpaca because I need a black shawl, not because I want to knit one.
This grey Suri Blue alpaca from Fleece Artist was bought in the sale bin from Twist of Fate at the Fibres West show. Jean and I were going to do a knit along for a 'whisper cardigan' but neither of us chose that pattern and I think she's already done. I have done a champion job of ignoring it in its lovely piddalee bag.
What really got play on the plane and even back at home is this orchid Diamond cotton. Such a luscious colour. I bought and iphone cover to match and had my pedicure done this colour as well.
I'm almost done the centre of the Swallowtail shawl and will begin the lily of the valley edging. I'll use a crochet hook to do the nupps.
But I will join Carin from Round the Twist in the 'evil plan' of not finishing it until the Stash Dash 5k begins. Imagine finishing the Lady Emily entrelac blanket in time for grad and counting 2500 meters? Wow.
It feels good to be home, but I'm so tired from flying. It's like doing a 12 hour shift. I think the dog is happy to have me home and walking her and giving her treats, even though I ran the washing machine all day.
Scott worked on my camp's website while I knit and Emily is at camp for the weekend, an annual youth retreat. Nothing to stop me from more  knitting.

Friday, May 20, 2011

My Bags Are Packed

We had a great week in Palm Desert. The Desert Willow is part of our Whistler Intrawest time share and so comfortable and familiar. We came about 10 years ago with the kids. do I need to tell you this was a different kind of holiday? The kind with no zoo and no Disneyland trip.
Yesterday we did drive 2 1/2 hours to Palomar to see the beautiful observatory. D is a bit of an astronomer. No he can't read your star chart. We have some lovely pictures, it was quite the trip over the southern mountains toward San Diego. The next time I go to San Diego will be next spring on a mission to build a house for a Mexican family. I knit on the Daybreak shawl on the way home despite the winding roads. I've almost done the stripy bit.
Today I was able to catch up on some video podcasts while D was in the gym. Then we went for our usual 1 1/2 hour walk, a coffee at the Starbucks in the Marriott across the street and to the pool after a light lunch. I embarrassed both of us by laughing out loud while reading the fourth (?) book in Kate Atkinson's Jackson Brodie series, Left Early, Took the Dog. So great and tight and dark and funny.
We had dinner at Roy's. We had another nice dinner at the same restaurant in Waikaloa over a year ago and they fussed over our 22nd anniversary. Sweet.
Tomorrow we fly home. Scott is having a party tonight and Emily is at camp for the weekend. Scary? We'll see.
It's so quiet and relaxing here, and it finally warmed today to 90 (32 Celsius). I feel like staying a few more days. That makes it easier to come back to.

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Recharging Batteries

 D and I flew to Palm Desert on Sunday. Saturday was the fundraising dinner and a great success with the help of friends and family. Our camp was guaranteed to make a profit because I did the cooking for eighty (ham and scalloped potatoes, smores for dessert) and the auction items were donated.
But I was beat. There were a few sleepless nights when I didn't think we could pull it off.
But we are here and relaxing and walking in the warm desert sun and taking photos.
 Until my camera battery died. Oh well, I can walk without the heave Nikon D60 around my neck. We already bought groceries for our timeshare kitchen. We found beautiful pearls and some aquamarine gems that match my ring. Also an apple store and an anthropologie. Happy happy happy hour at Tommy Bahamas and home for vids in the room. We're so exciting.
 Did I mention there was yarn? I bought some black alpaca and silk lace weight because last summer's attempt at a black shawl ended up frogging and beads and oh my. Plus some beautiful periwinkle blue sock weight for the new Wendy Knits mystery shawl.
I resurrected the orchid cotton, because it matches my pedicure and iphone, but bought a turquoise dress for my nephew's wedding this summer. Matches the new gems. I ran into JC  Penny and tried on 14 dresses in about 15 minutes. This one has the flattering details of deep v neck, nipped in waist and a line skirt. All good. Today we'll do more walking and maybe explore the old town of Indio. It's all about going with the flow. We are enjoying the 'winter' temperatures of 74 Fahrenheit. Don't feel bad for us, we're getting a tan and brushing off the winter moss. Just recharging our batteries.

Thursday, May 12, 2011

Kinda Sorta

Last night was the Chilliwack Common Threads Knitting Circle. The knitters are getting used to the space and helping themselves to tea. Great conversation, another new knitter and plans for Worldwide Knit in Public.
I finished something, kinda sorta: a sleeve on my nephew#7 sweater. The cables are going more smoothly, but they don't pop in the Berroco Vintage.
I'm on my last row of rectangles on Emily's grad blanket. Then one row of triangles and I will have a 4 by 6 foot Lady Eleanor entrelac blanket.
I have to shop for the smores brownies today. I'm cooking for 80 and starting to doubt my choices. I ordered hams from the local butcher and scalloped potatoes from our university cooking course. Salads and buns are brought by the other board members. I call today to find out if the young cooks can help me. Hope I can count on them to help me set up the buffet and plate the dessert.
I squoze in a pedicure because D and I are going to Palm Desert for our anniversary.
I will bring the Daybreak shawl and the laceweight Simplicity cardigan. It sounds so easy. But I'm not ready. Not even kinda sorta. Better get the self tanner out.

Monday, May 09, 2011

First Mac Update

 I can now upload photos from my Canon D60 to my macbook.  Yay. And get them onto the blog. I'm so excited. I haven't had a laptop since mine crashed during my online nursing course.
 The new pink dogwood is not planted yet, but I want her in the front with the same exposure as the other. Maybe my yard boy will dig the hole today.
The azalea at the front door is trying to attract attention her way.
Off to meetings for camp. Have a successful day.

Another Mothers Day

After working two day shifts, I felt a bit off kilter heading into Mothers' Day. My mom's orchid and historical romance novel were ready with the card, and I had plans, but I didn't know what to expect. D bought me a pink dogwood which really pulled at my heartstrings because that's what I got my first Mothers' Day and we had to leave it behind when we moved. I can still see it two blocks away. But this one is beautiful and so sweet.
The kids gave me charms for my bracelet which is pretty well full, now. And Emily gave me balloon red wine glasses like at the restaurant. Great for capturing the bouquet.
We went to a cream tea hosted by our Music Academy and my kids did the serving. It was so awesome of them to do some volunteering and they were very professional. Mom is proud (so is Grandma).
This will be a crazy week with plans for the dinner on Saturday and flying to Palm Desert on Sunday. But I want to keep up my gym/exercise routine.

Tuesday, May 03, 2011

New View

 The grey gull baby blanket is finished way before the baby is done gestating. I think they look forward to their third baby in the middle of June. They don't want to say they want a girl, but they have 2 boys. This blanket is meant to not be too... too. You could mix it with hot pink or just blue. Butterfly Cotton is hardwearing and their kids love the other blankets I made.
 This was knitting for me, though the cowl is not for me. I love the Malibrigo worsted. It's not quite so retina searing in real life. Now I get to buy buttons and put it in the gift drawer. Doing pretty good with the gift drawer.
I already cast on a Daybreak Shawl by Steven West in Cascade Heritage Handpaints and solid. I stole some quiet time for beginning the set up. After our 2 concerts this weekend, I need a break and I just sort of slid off my to do list. Caught up today, though and I went to the gym again and had fun and I'm not to sore to go again tomorrow.
 The forsythia at the front door was ready to be planted. Scott took out a big magnolia that wasn't getting enough light for its whole life. This will be our spring bed. I can see it from my computer desk. D spent some time retrieving my old files that never got out of storage in the last round of "fix Angie's computer" Then Scott spent most of Saturday transferring them to my new MacPro Book. Yay. I'm into the 21st Century. But I'm not blogging on her yet. Give me time.
 The Mothers' Day Magnolia is glorious again.
And when you come for tea, these purple plants will greet you. The azalea will be out soon. As soon as it warms up?