Tuesday, June 17, 2014

Eighth Bloggiversary

 I have been sharing pictures and snippets of my life and knitting with you, dear reader, for 8 years now. There was a time when blogging was my life line to all things knitting. But since Google Reader disappeared, I have not been keeping up with blogs. I have tried bloglovin' and feedly. But not all my favourites have been transferred over, and not all of them are displayed well in those formats. I will keep trying because I love to see the photos and read the notes of lives of "friends" I've known for years.
These days I'm more apt to be listening to or watching a podcast.
I was wondering what a typical post of mine would be like. There is probably a picture of my garden, my big black dog, my knitting and one or two nature shots from my walk. Celebrating the small moments in life is what really makes my heart sing.
 I bought myself a treat. It's a Vintage Rose stitch marker necklace and so very charming. You could say it was for my bloggiversary, but really it was because I was a bit sad after mothers' day. My wonderful big children both called from their homes on Vancouver Island. But I missed them and our tradition of A&W Momma Burgers.

 D is not good at mothers day and says, "You're not my mother". Le sigh. We celebrated fathers' day with my Paw and he got to join in the fun of Kilby Heritage Farm.

 I always love the seasons. Behind our creek, the salmon berries are bursting. The strawberries are for sale and the raspberries quick on their tails. We love to eat seasonal fruits and veggies. I even have some radishes in the raised bed that are almost ready.
I thank you for joining me on this journey. My knitting has been enriched by our virtual friendship and has spurred me to nurture a real knitting circle. When first we met, I was an at home care giver of tweens. I returned to nursing and worked in the hospital and then at Hospice. Next week I will tender my resignation there because the shifts have become too hard and heavy with no breaks in over 12 hours, and my old bones can't handle it.
So I am embarking on a new adventure. I won't be in a hurry to look for another job because, just this morning, I realized it is my chance to finish my novel. How's that for coincidence? I have been moaning about not having time for writing (as I garden and knit and fill my time with books and friends). But here is my chance. The story I started when my babies were wee. I have worked on for many years. I'm glad I didn't write it before I studied more about character and dialogue and just had some hard knocks.
All around me are signs of change and metaphors in the air.
One of these days I will grow up, and I hope that you will be there with me.

Friday, June 13, 2014

I Choose Variety

 When you go on a trip, you have to make lots of choices. Where to stay, what to pack. I am lucky my Mom is wardrobe conscious. I was able to choose red as my accent colour to my navy and black clothes I packed for our trip. And I was lucky the weather was sort of what I expected.
But it's feeling like summer, and I want things to be more care free.
 Sometimes the wild flowers and weeds make the best bouquets.
 I like to walk in the fields.
 But also at the lake and in the woods.
 Maybe I want to sit in the sun on the deck.
 Or move to my new shade area.
 Stripy socks means not having to choose. These are no purl monkeys. I actually ripped this one out and cast on with a larger needle because I have been working on making better, more consistent stitches. Goodbye 0.175 mm needles!
The only other thing on my needles is the big pink CashSilk blob that will be a Nuvem and the start of a baby layette for the fair.

 My neighbour, Jerry, trims his privet hedge a few times a year. You don't see people planting these high maintenance hedges anymore. But it smells like orange blossoms and he sculpts it to be rounded and wavy. Most people plant cedar hedges. They are strong and add privacy, but don't do much for bio diversity.
 We are eating strawberries and smelling black berry blossoms. This is a good time to be in the valley.

 World Wide Knit In Public Day was introduced early in Chilliwack because of the various schedules. We met at Sardis Park during the Eco Market and it was a huge success, the night after our knitting circle. That meeting kicked of 5 people learning to knit socks two at a time on one circular. Way to take a challenge! I have done this and decided it's not for me.
Original members, who haven't been able to attend Tuesdays, came out to celebrate with us. Yay varieties of friends and knitters.
 Tunisian crochet is one of my choices. I made a coffee cozy for Emily's boyfriend's new pot out of left over handspun.
If you don't want coffee, you can choose tea. This is Kate Davies' Sheep Carousel tea cozy in my sister, Pat's, handspun. It will be entered in the fair in a class called "Other Knitting" that we are yarn bombing.
 I love to choose from my six varieties of roses. Stop and not only smell the roses, but plant them and tend them and bring them into the house.
 I even have more than one "variety" of lavender.
 So nice to have memories of our trip and already planning our next one to New York. This summer I will read a variety of genres, knit multicoloured and numerous knitting projects and enjoy day trips from home. Spicy summer of variety!

Tuesday, June 10, 2014

Yarrow Days

Our town is made up of smaller villages. Just like Paris. Not really.
To the far east of our valley is Rosedale. We used to have a separate township of Chilliwhack (with an extra 'h'). We had Reeves who are kind of like Mayors. I live in Sardis, south of the Number One Highway which follows the old path of the Vedder River to Vedder Crossing, the past home of a very large army base. Past Vedder, to the west, you travel along the mountain where you can choose to go up to Cultus Lake, or continue along Vedder Mountain to the small town of Yarrow.
Most of these are still farming communities.
Yarrow has managed to keep its community hall and a branch of the Fraser Valley Regional Library. Now there is an Eco-Village, kind of co-op housing, mixed with cutting edge "green" building. Most of those are new neighbours, but it looks as if they are being incorporated into the best shops (deli, gifts, ice cream) and celebration of the town.
 The park had vendors of hand made soap, imported textiles and local youth groups. There are 4 big churches on the main road.
 Both sides of the street were lined with families and friends. It has been a long time since I have seen bare foot children in too-big hand me downs. And they were running around without a parent in tow.
The Deli is really great for sandwiches on the go. The Vedder Mountain Grill serves home made perogies with breakfast. Until a few years ago, there was a working dairy farm right in the centre of town.
 We always begin parades with Mounties and veterans.
 And then the pipe band. This one is ours. It is growing and inviting pipers from all over the valley whose bands have dwindled. For such a broad group, they have a pretty good sound. I am probably going to join them and play bass drum again. They are having fun and don't want to compete, but play in parades and give back to the community.
 On the far left is my DH, the pipe major.
 We still have a few mixed kilts, but are working on distributing the stores we have.
 There were vintage cars, including a model A. But I liked this french car with the sweet labradoodle.
 You gotta love a decorated tractor. Along with fire engines, they were the most of the parade.
 The sign says red neck water slide. The hay bales and tarps worked pretty well.
The corn is 6 inches tall. The strawberries fill the air with sweetness and the blackberries are blooming. It feels like summer is starting.
I used to take my kids to Yarrow Days because their school Jazz Band played in the park. Everyone is greeting each other as friends or relatives. I could ride my bike there in 40 minutes, but I feel like a stranger.
In Sardis and Chilliwack, you can play "six degrees of separation" with me at the centre. Our graduates walked a cross the stage this week to accept their high school degrees. We are so proud of the grads from Sardis. We graduated from there, as did our kids. It's rare to open the local "Progress" newspaper without seeing pictures of people we know, taken by our friend, Jenna Hauk, the photographer.
We are casting on baby sweater sets for the fair which will be donated to the hospital. We call it Fair Share. In addition to the ribbons and cash prizes (up to $5), we collect gift baskets to be drawn for all the entries.

There has been knitting in the garden. And steeking. We plan to yarn bomb the "other" class at the fair with tea cozies!
Let the summer celebrations begin.

Monday, June 02, 2014

Stash Flash

 The Must Stash Podcast is hosting a stash flash for the month of June. I have been cold sheeping (not buying yarn) for most of the year and have wrestled with my stash a few times in the past year. I lost some yarn for two weeks recently, but it was where it was supposed to be. An obvious sign that I need help.
The jars on the window seat of my sunroom/lab are filled with my favourite fingering and lace weight yarns. Plus a jar of blue leftovers for a baby blanket. These are the ones I can't be parted from. I like to keep ideas in play and it helps me to have visual prompts. Don't mention the footstool. Nothing to see there.
 D moved my stash into the downstairs pantry with the freezer and the boxes and cans of food from Costco. I have to move the recycling to get at it and I'm pretty resentful at times about that. When our daughter is grown and has her own home (not just a university apartment) I'm taking over her room for crafts and sanity. But I want her to feel welcome coming home just yet.
 There are bags of sweater quantities. And blankets. I knit 9 sweaters for my big nephews, and now I'm on to my kids and DH for Christmas. I like to make baby blankets and those nephews are starting to marry and have kids, so it works out OK. If I don't shop.
 Overflowing boxes of cotton. I must not check out the clearance section at Michaels. The pink is enough for a blanket.
 I was part of Sivia Harding's Mezzaluna club last year. I can't believe how many patterns and beaded kits she sent! I have given a few as gifts, but not knit any myself. I totally love her and it was a great treat. But I don't need to do clubs. One year I did a self directed sock club, which meant I bought what I liked when I saw it.
 These are blankets worth. I could share some of these with my knitting friends. But I do have plans for some.
 Found a bag of reclaimed yarn for a sweater for myself. It's more teal than grey. I have the yarn to make this year's Christmas gifts. And probably next year's too.
 Lace weight. Mostly gifts. I have had a trouble with left overs. Now I can weigh stuff and estimate yardage, but I chucked the wee balls. Plus I untangled my daughter's yarn that was under my stash. I need washable yarns for mittens for my great nephews and I reclaimed some of that.
 Shelter from our trip to DC a few years ago. It's meant to be a cabled scarf. I'm a little shy of yardage for the pattern I chose, but I need to get over it and recognize that it will be a nice long scarf. Plus this stuff needs to be soaked before its softness is revealed.
 Clearance colours for Rebecca Danger monsters, or Susan B Anderson toys.
 A Noro Blanket. Blame the Mason Dixon Knitting girls. I wanted to do the Mitred Cross blanket, but I may do Fussy Cuts. I like to buy patterns that help others. The Noro Kuryon collection began with a plan to make Lizard Ridge for my daughter's grad, but she voted for an entrelac blanket instead. I did get to watch my BFF make one for her son's grad from UBC.

I haven't "really" bought any yarn since the New Years sales.
And here it is. Still shaming in its quantity, but not so disorganized. I love most of it. I'll think about giving some away as door prizes at knit night and at the fair.
I only have 3 items on the needles right now. A tea cozy for the fair, my July sock for Operation Sock Drawer and the Nuvem. But Nuvem counts as a blanket and a shawl, so I just can't cast on more things till she's done, or almost done.
We cleaned up the rest of the big room in the basement on Saturday to store Emily's drums with the bag pipes and the guitars.
 Both kids have household items in the back room, but Scotty moved into a new apartment this weekend so I asked him to give me a wish list. I'll bet most of the things are already there.
Everyone has a stash of some sort.