Tuesday, March 03, 2015

Looking for Signs

 Is it spring? It can't be spring in the first days of March. But the Forsythia are already blooming. This plant is an indicator that it is safe to trim the roses. But I am not convinced. The nights are still chilly and there has been a teeny bit of frost. But really, it's been ridiculously beautiful in the Fraser  Valley.
 Looking for signs of life in my sourdough started. This one was actually replaced. But the current batch is bubbly and yeasty and very promising.
 The heavy winds were hard on the trees around my field. Coqualeetza is a traditional First Nations healing ground which later became a Residential School, a TB Hospital and an army barracks. Now the Sto:lo Nation is developing public health offices, schools and resource centres and business planning centres on the acreage just behind our house. This plum  branch is from a very old tree that fell down, but still decided to bloom. The tiny buds opened beautifully and quickly.
 OK. Mowing the lawn is a sign of spring. D won't be mowing just yet, which is good news for the violets that have spread out of the beds.

 I pulled out the blocks of my swap blanket. This was through the Knit Girllls podcast many years ago. I would have a partner and she would have me, and we would knit one another a block according to each preference. I ended up with 8 squares. Finally, I took the left over yarns, so graciously included with the cards and stitch markers and other goodies in the mailing, and knit 4 more squares.
This was an unexpected project and I'm really happy to empty another bin in my stash cupboard. I am not someone who likes a lot of variation in pattern, but the blue makes this blanket more homogeneous.

Trying the single crochet joining method. It is really quick, and helped to even out the different sizes of squares. The ridge on the back is not unpleasant, but I feel that mattress stitching would make a tidier join. Luckily I had enough yarn to seam all the pieces and do a single crochet all around the outside. I will steam press the seams to day and take it to knitting tonight. I am trying to encourage the knitters to use some of our donated yarn to make blanket squares for the local youth shelter. Hopefully, showing them a complete blanket, and the two squares that I have knit, will encourage them to knit just a square to join together.
 I am thankful. This small rhododendron, Snow Lady, is not always successful. D has trimmed her so she has grown beautifully. But sometimes she blooms in the rain and is just mush, or we are travelling and I miss it. Very early blooms are already happy in the sun. Unfortunately the blueberry fields are blooming very early and we are worried the bees won't be out in time to do the pollenating.
 Along with the waffles blanket for my nurse friend who is due in August, I made her a Bunny Nugget. Had forgotten how much she loved the one I gave my yoga instructor. I love it when the ideas come at the right time with the right yarn.
 Walking the trail is such a pleasure. Carly is not doing well enough to walk it every day, but when she is walking straight, we go to the other side of the creek and follow the crush gravel path.
 We snuck away for a quick trip to Vancouver Island. D has been working so very hard and long hours and needed to be away from work and band. This is Sidney, where our son works, but we didn't get to see him when we were poking around the shops and the beach right near the ferry.
 Bee Hive knits is right downtown Victoria. I was looking for some specific yarn (Noro Kureyon for my fussy cuts blanket, and natural sport sock yarn for kilt hose) and they had good choices. This is the first time I also had good service. Don't know why I am not normally welcomed as a real knitter. But there was a lady about my age who shared the delight in the colours and softness and even husband sat D and showed him the electric ball winder.
 We stayed at the Strathcona Hotel, right down town. Great location. But I was a bit worried when we recognized it has a liquor store, Sticky Wicket pub, District club and Big Bad John's Western bar. Not a problem.

 Friday was a bit drizzly. We walked around downtown and found Emily's poster she made for her band concert.

 Loved the Fan Tan Gallery in Chinatown which has the import items, but displayed in a great way. This kitty just about jumped into my bag.

 We went to the Copper Owl to see Emily's band. It was very cool. And late. And loud. We weren't the oldest there, but we were probably the soberest.
 Nine piece band! Crazy good music. Their style is Balkan and jazzy. Yes, that's a tuba, and two trombones and two violins and an accordion. Plus two drums and two trumpets (Em) and a flugelhorn. Too much fun! We even danced a wee bit.
 The next day we set off to the ferry. I am finishing up my Bricks & Mortar mittens. Need to write up the pattern to share with others who want to support our local yarn shops.
 Got to knit on the ferry, in the sun, just resting and almost dozing. At home, it was Paw's birthday which was great fun, and not too late.
The colours we have pushing up in the gardens now are becoming a riot.
And the lovely magnolia is starting her debut. She will continue to bloom well past October. This is a great sign of beauty, right on the edge of my deck. We planted it a few years after we moved in, and it is well past 30 feet high. A sign that we have settled here.
Hope that you have hopes of spring and the promise of new blooms.

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