Saturday, July 28, 2012


I am a huge fan of all things Sherlock Holmes. It was my first adult book when I had just graduated from A.A. Milne and I even had a comic strip version of the Hound of the Baskervilles when I was in grade 6.
I have read most of the stories, seen most of the movies and even read spin off books like the wonderful Laurie R. King Beekeeper's Apprentice series.
I watched the new Sherlock Holmes steam punk movie twice on our long flights to and from Africa.
The new series by BBC is awesome and the fans are awesome, too. There is a website that is totally focused on sourcing the items from the series called Wear Sherlock BBC and a wonderful group on Ravelry called 221B. They are the most extraordinary readers and knitters! I love that the props are so valued.
This is probably my biggest geek thing.

On This Day

 My birthday, yesterday, was filled with blessings and laughter. I finished the Summer Flies shawl the night before and was able to lift it from the blocking towel first thing.
 My roses were making the garden a joyous ruckus of colour. I feel so blessed that my favourite flowers bloom on my birthday.
 My book club friends took me to breakfast at Cookie's Grill. There were flowers from Quik Pik with wool! Great discussion and great food. If she felt these flowers were perfect for me, then I am so pleased to have sunshine and fun in my life.
 When I got home, my front drive post had been yarn bombed by my knitting circle friends.
 Crazy! Not only is it beautiful and beautifully designed, it holds so much work and hours of intention. I love it and am planning to display it at our booth at the fair.

 I know who made the lady bug!
 For my birthday party, I asked to go to the Love Global Foundation mini golf tournament, BBQ and concert at Giggle Ridge in Cultus Lake. So silly and fun. The proceeds go to Project Help Haiti, our friend Carlton's other project. We went with him on his Project Help Mexico at Easter.
My family came out and Paw got a hole in one on the last hole, made the train whistle blow and won another round. D was there and my eldest sister played the first half of the game.
My gifts included electrictree yarn and money to go on a yarn crawl! The kids gave me yoga clothes and supplies (because yoga is the new knitting) and we ended up at the new Batman movie on the huge screen of the new theatre. Great movie. Great fun.
I will remember the love I felt on this day.

Sunday, July 22, 2012

Just For Fun

 D took me into the city this weekend. We had a 50th birthday party to attend and went a night early for some time on Granville Island. This charming boutique hotel was a real treat. We went to the small stage production at Bard on the Beach (King John) and loved the lowered expectations. It was spectacular anyway.
 The view from our room. Must remove that date from the corner, sorry. The day started a bit grey, but there was really no rain. We had excellent coffee and muffins for breakfast and poked around in some of my favourite stores: Paper Ya, Opus and Blackberry Books. We went to the Cloth Shop, a quilting store that used to be near Urban Yarns on 10th Ave. I bought some owlie fabric and asked about what to use to stuff hexipuffs for the Bee Keeper's Quilt. Well, she gave me a bag of scraps of wool quilt batting left over from her last project. Just gave it to me. I was trying not to squee. Thanks so much. I haven't started my quilt yet, but the jar of blue left over sock yarn is just waiting for me to finish my mitten banner.
 This is the classic view of the market with Granville Street Bridge above. At this point we were enjoying a Terra Breads cinnamon roll and a JJBean cold blended coffee. Shopping with D includes lots of sitting and stopping.
 D bought me some hand dyed silk and wool at the Weavers' workshop. It will be a My Hope shawl, I hope.
 At Circle Craft, a crafters' cooperative, I chose a hand made silver and gold ring with a leaf motif. This is a fun way for us to shop for my birthday presents, because he doesn't like choosing on his own. I also bought myself a pearl bracelet and earrings from a favourite jeweller, Janis Dean Johnson and some adorable stud earrings for Em by the amazing June Hunter. I will definitely visit her shop again.
While we were parked at the hotel, the birds bombed our car. But we were so fortunate to find this theatre group, the Shameless Hussies, doing a fundraising car wash/ art installation on our way to the party.
A very fun birthday with great people. A satisfying summer weekend with enough fun to wear me right out. Today is a bit overcast and a great time to snuggle up with some wool and books. Also my kind of fun.

Sunday, July 15, 2012

Make Your Own...

 Make your own kind of music, sing your own special song. We bought a king size bed and I wanted a padded fabric headboard. Thanks guys at Windsor plywood for not blinking (again) when I ask for wood to be cut a certain size. Scott- and his socks- helped set up the drilling in the shade of the spruce tree in the driveway. It was a dreadfully hot day and I was trying to make it to a yoga class that was rescheduled. Too spinny.
 I bought quilting batting that was too short, but the lady at Fabricland assured me it would stretch. That's good for stapling, but bad for quilting. Love shopping at local shops with local people.
 The finished product is just right. The pillows are from Africa and I went to the trouble of getting feather cushion inserts. Now I need to get one of my elephant photos enlarged and wrapped on canvas.
 Make your own karma. I love knitting for babies and blessing their existence. This pueperium sweater is for my yoga teacher.
 The bunny nugget is for the new big sister. I think they are due in September. That gives me time to knit on the November baby sweater- plain garter, yay!
I used real mohair for the tail and I love it. Now one of my nurses wants a bunny nugget. I may churn out a bunch and just hand them out randomly.
Work was really challenging. My patients are in their last days, weeks and are feeling the feelings and having the thoughts that might accompany that. I was less than effective with one lady, but redeemed myself the next day with my coworker's assistance. It's not about me, and I'm not there to make them feel all sunshine and lolipops, but I do wish to be effective and let them know they are cared for.
I'm off for a week. Emily has her first apartment and we need to buy a desk so I can keep my old one.
Scott repainted his room and we put the old queen size bed in there.
The weather has changed from stifling hot to thunder, light showers and great wind. I'm glad we could sit by the pool last night with friends. I'm glad we can breathe deeply the cooler air today.
Make your own happiness.

Thursday, July 12, 2012

A Day On the Town

 Diane and I went into Vancouver yesterday. I had been tasked with buying tickets for the Yarn Harlot talk and I did my best to get into the talk, but missed the class. We made a day of it, starting at sweet georgia's new studio. What a lovely space with display in front for us to fondle and coo over the colours.
 Then we travelled down Main St to 3 bags full. This is a very carefully organized store. I love meeting Christa Giles and listening to her open and encouraging comments. I found a great chart tamer by slipped stitches that may help me get a handle on the black shawl.
 We also stopped at Bad Anna's where we met the nicest staff member, but noticed the stock was woefully low. There was barely time for a quick beer and some yam fries at the library pub before the knitters started arriving. They are recognizable by their oversized bags and the wearing of hand knit sweaters and shawls even in the afternoon heat.
 And there she was. Even funnier and nicer in real life. I have been reading the Yarn Harlot's blog since just after she started it, I think 6 years ago. It has changed my knitting life to know that there are others out there who dream of lace charts and blending colours, who curse when they drop stitches and who always have "emergency knitting" in their handbags. Knitting got me through raising small children, shuttling them to music and sports, and having something to show for my time at the end of the day. It also has given me a chance to support others and to make gifts for those I care about, and for those in need whom I will never meet.
 Thanks Stephanie. Hope you enjoy the Old Yale Sasquatch Stout.
 We were done in time to drive the 1 1/2 hours home in lovely evening light. There was much laughing and talking and generally enjoying the day devoted to our favourite endeavour.
 At sweet georgia I found ultraviolet, charcoal and ginger that will be my Colour Affection.
 Hummingbird will go with my existing skein, seagrass is fingerless mitts for a gift and I think snapdragon will be a monster.
 I have wanted to make a Bobbie Bear for years. I bought the pattern and the blue sky alpaca cotton in a subtle grey.
 These two crazy sock skeins will probably be Baby Surprise jackets.
At the lecture I worked on the beginning of a garter stitch baby sweater because I knew my brain would be reeling. It was a good plan. But when Diane and I stopped for lunch, coffee and dinner, I knit on the pueperium sweater which is now done.  I just cast on a bunny nugget to go with it and decided to start with Judy's Magic Cast On like a toe up sock. That will save me a seam! I used the same needles and held the yarn double to get a dense fabric for stuffing.
I'm so tired from the exciting day and late night, but feel energized and ready for new knitting challenges.

Sunday, July 08, 2012

What I'm Not Knitting

 Couldn't say what's holding me back. I am working and doing yoga and I'm a bit restless for sustained sitting. The mittens are slowly getting knit and they came to our Tuesday knit night, so the pressure is on to complete the 24 for a banner.
 This is the third attempt at a newborn baby sweater which makes a quick knit nothing at all. I have knit garter stitch all week and have little to show. The first was big enough for my dog, the second one looked like dog's breakfast. This one is coming along. The Pueperium Cardigan by Kelly Brooker seems to be the one for my yoga teacher. I like the "green tea" colour. She's due in September. No rush, but at this rate I may miss the due date.
 I have decided to wind up the ivory sock yarn from electric tree and start the Queen Anne's Lace Pi shawl. I love knitting pi. I'm going to the Yarn Harlot talk on Wednesday and I have to have some real knitting to work on. I want to belong to the tribe.
 My nurse friend is having a boy. So the nice little girl sweater is on a string and the blue will be cast on. I will go so far as to finish the September baby sweater first, because she's due in November. Lots of babies. We also have twins coming at the vet clinic. I hope to do opposite stripes. Maybe cream and beige or another not blue or pink.
 To encourage myself, I took amy's advice and wrote myself an encouraging message in a bottle. I will keep it on my desk as a secret. One day I will forget what it is and then have a nice surprise.
 The Taize is done. I could have knit it longer, but I have made other shawls too long. I am happy with how it feels on my neck. The colours will cheer up the grey winter.
I did do two rows on my black shawl. It's not so bad, but requires focus and attention. Do those mix with summer sun?
But it is resting in the warm July sun. The summer came on Tuesday. After work, we walked down the street to the new Wild Cat Express cafe and corner store and had a lovely dinner on picnic tables. Fun.
This morning I cooked pasta for a Greek Salad tonight, because that's how hot it is.
I have 150 photos of our trip for scrap booking and I have to prepare crafts for the Vacation Bible School next month.
We bought a new bed and, before it is delivered on Tuesday, I had to get king sized sheets and comforter (more work than I had hoped). Scott emptied his room and is painting it Steeplechase (pale grey green) for our queen bed to live in. I will get a sometimes guest room, he will get a nice big bed when he's home, and his furniture can go with Em when she moves out in September.
Lots of linky today. Hope you are making the most of the fun that can crop up in summer. And knitting a bit.

Friday, July 06, 2012

There Was Knitting

 "We've never had knitting on safari before." I reassured our guides, Mark and Elijah, that it meant I was relaxing. They wanted to have siesta after lunch every day and I just couldn't sit still. The last canoeing day I brought my Taize shawl. D and Mark slept while Elijah did some tracking. It was shortly after that we walked about 40 minutes, tracking a lion and found a pride of 14.
I also knit in airports, planes, in the back of the pickup when we were (rarely) on paved roads, at the campfire, and many delightful hours with Elizabeth in her front room.
I can't say enough about Elijah. He was an excellent canoeist who let me feel like I was helping. He was so quiet at first, but we did a lot of giggling and discussing raising kids and exploring our planet. I followed him and his rifle while we walked across mapane forests and grass lands. He tried to teach me to see crocodiles before he pointed them out. I felt safe and encouraged to explore.

Back to work this week and I was so happy to be back with my nursing friends and the great place where we work.

Knitting at home has been a bit more of a challenge. I started a girl sweater and found out my nurse friend is having a boy. Just setting it aside, not ripping. I also started a kimono for my yoga teacher, but it was turning out big enough for her 4 year old. Ripped that last night. Boo. I want something tiny and soft.
I knit on my charity scarf from some left over muppet fur while we drove last weekend. Looking forward to not having that on the needles.
Have not opened the black shawl.
Finished the July square. Yay.
Today I hope to catch up with my best friend and get some goals. I always gather my thoughts better with her.
Have a wonderful weekend with some delightful knitting.

Sunday, July 01, 2012

Happy 145th Canada Day

This is Kamloops last July.  It's not a BBQ kind of day here, with the chilly rain, but we had a family gathering yesterday.
We'll have a night in with Aylmer buns* and Mad Men. Plus I get to go to yoga this afternoon.
The quiet schedule allows more knitting. I finished my Taize shawl, and the 12 inch square for the swap.  I did start a baby sweater yesterday and knit on my charity scarf in the car. The tiny mittens are behind schedule.
Tomorrow is my sister's birthday so we will take her to Minter Gardens for lunch and a stroll in the garden. In the evening a choir friend is coming over to swap knitting for quilting. Great plans ahead.
Hope you are enjoying a memorable weekend.

*Aylmer Buns were created by MIL
2 cups shredded ham or sausage
2 cups shredded cheddar
1/4 cup green relish
1/4- 1/2 cup mayonnaise

Spread on buns and broil in the oven. Enjoy with your family.