Tuesday, July 31, 2007

And We're Off

D. is in the middle. He won the aggregate at the Pacific Northwest Highland Games. Best is good enough for me.
Off to the wilds of Glasgow for two weeks. It's a real trip travelling with the pipe band. You can bet on lots of pints. This time I'm not drumming, so I'll be able to steal away for some knitting at K1 Yarns.
I'm only packing one book and one magazine. I'll be able to buy what catches my eye. Wool doesn't need to be heavy. Buttons and jewellery are light. Who knows.
Stay safe and keep out of the beer tent.

Sunday, July 29, 2007

More Like Logging Really

This is the wheel barrow full from just one rose bush. My Queen Elizabeths are over 8 feet tall. In anticipation of our trip (and to procrastinate from packing) I am hacking them back. There are three more. And then I need to focus on the other roses. Whew. I hope Boo will truck them over the bridge to the (burm) cuttings pile.
Kiri grows as we venture deeper into Harry Potter. Unfortunately Noodle Pie daughter is swimming at auntie's and then off to the Simpsons Movie with Grandpa. Thanks Grandpa.
So I need to put down the guitar and pack. I was practicing for a piece I did today in Gurani. That's a language of Paraguay. I wouldn't know that except I crapped out last time I tried to sing this piece and I was determined to get it off my nightmare list. Get back on that horse.
I think I got back on the horse too often as witnessed by my scars. But music I can handle and I felt a rush of relief from those who were tortured through the last brain fart.
Now I'll pack my flute. I'm doing well with my music theory study, too. It is so hard to keep off my feet. When I get restless, I can only sit in a different chair. Today it was easier to live with painful feet. Not good.
If I rest aggressively, I have no guarantee of healing. But I can guarantee I will have learned something, played something and knit something. Soothe my soul.

Saturday, July 28, 2007

Happy Birthday to Me

I love presents. Even when they're not for me.
But yesterday was my day.
It was sunny, my mom and my sisters took me out to lunch. D went to Enumclaw for the Pacific Northwest Highland Games, but we had cake on Thursday night at his mom's.
Noodlepie made the cake. It was so good. Cara's Vegan Chocolate Cake from Dogs Steal Yarn. She put melted marshmallows on top for frosting and it was great. I don't have pictures from my camera, darn.
This is some of my haul. Notice the Stitch N Bitch journal from my dear bestest best friend who is now knitting quite a lot. She just started the flying geese from my Mason Dixon book (bday gift last year) and has ordered her own copy.
I took the kids to Harry Potter 5 last night (plus hers). It was good to go again but it seriously cut into our reading of the last book. I don't know how it came about that Noodle and I read alternating chapters out loud and can't read ahead. This does allow lots of knitting time.
We should seriously be packing for Tuesday, but it's still my birthday (friends for lunch today). I always manage to extend it over most of a week.
This year I wanted to share it with you.
Looking forward to another good year of blogging and reading blogs. Cheers.

Thursday, July 26, 2007

Kiri, Kiri, Kiri

I love knitting this shawl. It's my second time and I love that I only have to look at the chart once at the beginning of a pattern row to know what to do. I'm big on knitting off the stitches.
Also, with lace, you have such a happy sense of accomplishment at the end of every row.
"Wow, the stitches add up, I must be so smart"
I am now daunted by my list of knitting because I fell into a 40% off sale. I didn't mean to. It was an accident. But we have the Canadian supplier of Cascade here in town and it's such a good solid yarn. I bought enough to knit a nephew sweater. But not the next one. I wanted navy for that. So I bought two bags of Phildar navy for the anniversary sweater in knitty. These boys are all over 6'2" and men's large. Why not baby booties?
I felt that as a good auntie, I couldn't die before I knit my godson an aran sweater. Well, he's still growing so I'd thought I'd start at the oldest. That makes 8 plus my neice who is also 6' tall. I've done two. I tried a third but got stuck in a bad swatch that turned into a disappointment.
Now when I finish the list of shawls, I can whip up the navy cables, the charcoal Durrow from wool I bought for myself years ago, and then the blue heather. These are not necessarily for birthdays or Christmas. They are because I want these guys to know that eventhough they are grown that the love I had for their baby selves is just as strong. No matter where they travel or what they persue, they will always have their family. They will always be a welcome part of my family.

Monday, July 23, 2007


Today photos are loading lickety split. So I give you the beginnings of Kiri shawl. The color is really more fuschia, but the KSH is fabulous.

I took my Noodle-Pie to the big city, Vancouver. We shopped at Lulu Lemon, Chocolate Arts, Duthies, Ming Wo. It was a great Kitsilano experience. Unfortunately it was a bit cold and wet. This is her working on a free-form stuffed animal with kind of horns or ears. I call it a Nargle, but she says I don't know what a Nargle is.

We saw Romeo and Juliet at Bard on the Beach and I was most enchanted. The actors looked so young! They really pulled it off. The costumes were modern clothes in black and white and most convincing. Romeo wore tight jeans and a leather jacket that hinted at the silhouette of tights and a doublet. The backdrop was Vanier Park.
On Saturday we took the ferry to Victoria to see our son, Boo. D. met me at the ferry and I was perfect in my timing. The only thing I have been perfect in for a wee bit.
We met at the Noodle Box in china town and had fun at Silk Road teas and the variety stores. We each bought a bag of White Rabbit candies and ended up with 4 bags!!!
I indulged in a little sac for my sock knitting, like the monkey bag I've been trying to build a pattern for. The satin tissue holder has been on my replacement list for several years as mine is disintegrating. The pin cushion is the smallest of this variety I have seen. I bought my mom a huge one years ago.
It was so good to meet up with friends. The concert was superb. He really learned a lot in 3 weeks.

Then we headed up island for a family reunion where 148 of 163 descendants attended. A bit overwhelming, but good people. D. made a marvelous powerpoint presentation of his branch of the tree which made us all cry. I miss Nana so much at these things. D.'s grandma always helped me fit in with these crowds and was fun and generous and gracious. She died when Noodle was 6 months old.
And now we do laundry and pack for Scotland. I have quite a few duties in my committees to squish into this time. The kids want to take the guitar but our charter air service is being chintzy with luggage. I will take my flute and my theory which is coming along well. Won't my teacher be surprised?
Today I try to get some fresh food in the house. I won't change out of my work out clothes till I get back from the Y. I insist. But there's so much else to do too!

Tuesday, July 17, 2007

Second Trip

No pics allowed by blogger today.

I'm up and away again, this time taking daughter to Vancouver for shopping and Bard on the Beach. I'm almost 44 (next week) and I don't have to wait any longer for someone to invite me. I'm going to do things that matter to me.
It's hard to find a Shakespeare buddy. Especially in the summer. I'm thinking of trailing behind my opera friends to learn about that. But I was a great Lady MacBeth in highschool (like countless others) and eventhough I dropped out of Theatre after first year, I still love it. I think if I could have done solely Shakespeare in a whole lifetime, I may have stayed in.
I read about him and read his plays and poetry out here in the wilds of the farmland. We, luckily, have a super theatre program in our own college and I'm going to go to that, too. Just watch me.

From Vancouver to Vancouver Island to meet up with piano son and then on to the dreaded D's family reunion. You don't have to tell me it will be more fun than I anticipate. There are many very nice people there who are or can be kind. But I dread these 100 plus parades of who's the most successful or the slimmest. It's a bit hard on a housewife.
On that point, I mailed off more paper work to further my cause to re-enter nursing.

Harry Potter 5 was super. It was pretty close to the spirit of the book and Noodle Pie liked it. I like going to the giant movie theatre in Mission and shopping at Black Bond Books, too.
I have a lot to thank Harry for- our film festival means Kiri is on her way and I even worked on the long lost sock.

Hope you kick back and play summer games this weekend.

Sunday, July 15, 2007

Anniversary Anyway

I missed my first bloggiversary.
I started on June 30th last year. Rather by mistake and still quite in secrecy.
This has been a fun exploration.
I am so inspired by the great knitting on-line community and in my own little way I'm a part of it.
I love my little camera and I'm learning more about communicating through comments.
I still read 4 or 5 almost daily. I have had times when I've checked 4 or 5 times a day to see if Li or Stephanie or Cara have updated. In my disappointment I still checked later in the day.
I needed some knitting sisterhood.

In my non-virtual life I am now at home at my LYS and helping them with advertising and coaxing them on ordering the real goodies.

They love the on-line information that I bring to them, but I feel they still think it is not for them. Perhaps this year I'll meet a local blogger and we will wink and nod.

So much fun and party and yarn porn. Some is just escapist, but there are definite feminist and charity focus blogs that can help us be the best we can be.

I didn't knit for charity yet this year. I guess I'll jump into a jag or go back to a monthly plan.
The 5 hour baby sweater is a great gift. I love EZ's baby surprise. Years ago I cut and pasted (with scissors and glue) the Knitter's publication of it. I have made so many copies, but never a sweater from them.

Kiri has begun. This is from alltangledup.com .I wonder if I won't knit 3 of them in a row. Like Januaryone.com. I am susceptible to a knitting jag. Starting with Lucy Neatby's crocheted provisiona cast on was a dream and my hands still remember the pattern from last June. Rowan Kid Silk Haze really is the crack of wool.

So, on this Sunday, I have earned some rest, some time for practicing my music and for listening to Lime and Violet while I grow the Kiri shawl.

In a year so much has changed and so much is the same.

Saturday, July 14, 2007

Clapotis Part Deux

She be done and ready for the first wiff of cool air.

None to be had today.
I do love the Koigu and the colours. I'm trying to get my LYS to carry Koigu and STR and maybe even Fleece Artist.
I'll let you in on a little secret. I ran out of yarn. Totally preventably but not redeemable. I don't know how to frog back after the stitches are already dropped. So I just did a creative cast off. Hope you don't mention it when you see it.
I do have a bit of a dream that I'm travelling around with my lovely Clapotis (blue or pink) and someone comes up to me and says, "Is that a Clapotis?" I have a hug ready for that new knit-sibling. I would feel that, eventhough I'm in Ottawa or Stirling or Yarrow, I would not be alone.

Today is the shortbread factory. I'm acutally making 8 batches. It is my speciality.

I usually make it in July for our friend and piper, Frank. He died just after we competed at the Worlds in 2001. I still take it to the annual BBQ in Bellingham because he loved it so much and we want to remember him. I didn't get to go this year.

It's also my son, Mr. Boo's favourite.

My mother-in-law asked me to bring it to their family reunion. I don't really feel like baking on a hot July day. I gave up my trip to the gym this morning (I'm not bitter) to bake in the cool part of the day. It's all cleaned up already.

I will be selfish and keep one batch for my son't piano recital and one for another aunt we'll visit on the following Sunday.

So this is a big week.

On Wednesday I'm taking Emily into Vancouver to introduce her to Kitsilano and maybe Granville Island. We stay at the Wall Centre (pretty posh) and go to Bard on the Beach Thursday night- Romeo and Juliet. I'm really looking forward to it. Though I squished it too close to the trip to Vancouver Island.

I can hardly wait to see Mr. Boo who has been at the University of Victoria since Canada Day at piano camp. It'll be 3 weeks altogether. He's getting along really well with his friends from our piano studio and I thank my best friend for being the dorm mother. Shortbread isn't much to give her but we'll enjoy it.

I will try to cast on Kiri today with purple Rowan Kid Silk Haze. It's a bit too hot for summer knitting, but we're watching all the Harry Potter movies in the cool basement. It is a 70th birthday present for my husband's aunt. She and her husband are very successful and very generous. I owe a lot to her in understanding style and grace. I've known her since I was 15 so I feel as if she's my real aunt too.

Her husband is not well. His cancer returned. He's on dreadful experimental chemo. We can't tell if he's getting sicker or just reacting to the treatment. We're worried. She is giving up her month-long trip to Tuscany to keep things gentle. She knits and will appreciate the lovely shawl and wear it with elegance. She will appreciate the shortbread, too, because people (like us) drop in to visit with her and Uncle. It is not much to help, but it is what I can do.

Sunday, July 08, 2007

Lessons Learned

I've been watching Lucy Neatby's videos. I borrowed them from our library and there's a lot of information there. Some of it is repetitive or a bit out of order, but it 's fascinating.
I didn't learn knitting from any expert.
I learned by faking my way through mistakes.
Kind of like life.

But when I see Lucy teaching how to do my cast on, or seaming in the way I finally ended up with ( or so far anyway), I am so encouraged. Maybe I'm not such a pretender after all.
Maybe that's why I knit for babies because they don't complain about gauge or finishing.

And gauge. Will I ever make friends with this dragon? My last sweater was a huge failure in sizing. Literally.

Lucy says be kind to your stitches. I have been pushing my right needle too far into the stitch so that the yarn has to stretch to double width. I can knit quickly like this. But she says I'm abusing the poor stitch. Sorry.
I will try to gently and gradually move to knitting with just the tips of the needles. Maybe I'll get better gauge, maybe I'll get happy stitches.
There are so many ways of knitting. And we are never finished learning our lessons.