Thursday, August 30, 2007

A Walk at Home

This was my first walk since about April. I figured if I could walk all over London and Glasgow, I could at least go out my front door. New bark mulch in the driveway, nice.
My ever-docile walking partner, Carly. I think she was excited.
We only went to the end of the street, about 15 down. I loved the smell of the ripe corn. I had missed most of the garden displays. I am usually very in touch with the black berries on the hegerows and the roses and vines. I have missed it all this year. As well, it was getting dark at 8:30 p.m. Definitely late summer. But it was great to be a part of it.
Kiri is ticking along. Pictures next time. I just about had an hour at the rink this morning, but poor coach has my cold and is off to the doctor. Perhaps I should seize the time on my deck?

Tuesday, August 28, 2007

Just a Start

Yesterday I went back to Weight Watchers. I know. I won't get all obsessive here every day, but it was time. After my long sleepless night in the dorm next to the seedy, noisy Glasgow pub, I made my decision.
I used to be a leader. I really liked it. I lost 40lbs for my 40th birthday and kept it off until I had surgery and complications and a new life with a new disabling syndrome.
Now that I feel that I have that under control, and 30lbs!!! later, I'm back on the writing things down life.
It took so long to lose my weight, this is just about normal. But apparently I couldn't do it on my own, no matter what measures I took.
So I have a new beginning.
Not new pencils and books, but lessons and tests.
Wish me luck.

Monday, August 27, 2007

A Walk Through the Park

This is the beauty that was always available to me in Glasgow. The Kelvingrove Museum. Free and every bit as interesting as the British Museum without the crush of tourists and the exhaustive displays.
The Partick River.
The University.
More hallowed halls of learning from the school that brought us most of the inventors of our age.

The Stuff Dreams Are Made Of

This is something special.
While shopping at K1 in Glasgow, I met the owner, Kathering Walker, who happens to be the loveliest of Canadians. She's from Toronto.
Her Dream was to offer the local and special yarns that were not available in the Scottish department stores (read Rowan).
Her tiny hallway of a shop has become an entire community of knitters. Check out the K1Yarns website to see the purple walls lined with white pails of skeins.
She's also a designer. She knows the designer of my Kiri shawl.
This japanese linen tape feels like paper. But she was wearing a neat lacey sweater of it and the drape is marvelous. I bought a pattern from Habu Textiles for the Shosenshi Linen Jacket and also a pattern of Katherines with a criss cross back/front. She thinks there's enough in the 1500m to make both. But she was a bit of a tiny thing herself.
What a treat to talk knitting and purpose and how similar are the cultures of Canada and Scotland. It was my last day in Glasgow and worth the sore ankle to walk through the beautiful gardens and university.

These are some of our tickets and pamphlets. We had to go with a French guide to Edinburgh, but that doesn't bother us. The train ticket taker knew I was Canadian immediately when I said the word "out". I don't think it sounds funny, but everyone else does. There's about .69 pounds left on my Oyster card for the London transit system. I certainly prefer the bus, but to get across town, especially during a rush, you have to use the tube. Will this skill come in handy again? I did get to the Sherlock Holmes museum and took my eight year old self around. It was a special treat.

Kiri number three is coming along. I'm feeling better. Sang with a Blue Grass trio yesterday to great reception. Good thing I had the low part with this cold. But nasty cold is receding and I took the kids to the Y this morning to pretend that that's my normal way to spend a morning instead of gathering yucky kleenex.

We have to finish organising for school. Noodle starts skating tomorrow. It looks like the careless, long, warm days of summer are passing. We'll probably get even better weather in September, but that will only make her grumpy because she can't wear her new fall clothes.

Me, I'm trying to keep up with my improved health, my healing heels and slowly decreasing swelling of my Left ankle. If I work hard, I can get this birthday Kiri done before she gets back from her trip to the Okanagan.

Saturday, August 25, 2007

How to Block a Shawl

Step one: put the dog outside.
Step two: Replace vacuum bag with fresh one
Step three: vacuum the living room within in inch of its pile
Step four:Scour basement for blocking wires as marked by hockey skate laces.
Step five: Hunt for blocking pins which haven't been required since the last FO several blue moons ago.
Step six: soak Rowan KSH in Eucalan until it resembles a wet cat and makes all your effort seem pointless.
Step seven: rinse gently
Step eight: squeeze out excess water in a very big but not fluffy towel
Step nine: Finally lay her out on the largest towels.
Step ten: thread wires through straight edge. These are cheap TIG wires from Al's Supply House.
Step eleven: try to evenly and gently stretch each point from each side.
And then there's more patience.
I loved knitting this enough to persevere after a most stupid mistake and Glasgow frogging.
I'm already well on my way to number 3.
Perhaps I shall make the birthday deadlines afterall.
My summer of lace just came up on me unawares.

Friday, August 24, 2007


This is one of the modern stained glass windows at the Glasgow Cathedral, St. Mungo's. I was so taken by the colours and the words which are printed on each pane. They read the first lines of Genesis.
Exciting to have modern influence with ancient wisdom.
I am having a difficult time connecting with my new Adobe Photoshop because I haven't been well enough to take the time to find my path. These two photos represent about 6 times the effort I used to take. In time all will be smooth.
Like my Kiri. All finished. Yay. In time to block and send to Vancouver Island for Aunt's 70th birthday. Keep her in your prayers as Uncle has been taken off experimental chemo. It was just a matter of time. But it is now and we are sad to be heading on that path, even if the route is clearer.
My third Kiri on the needles. What is wrong? Why don't I love it? It's Jean green and variegated. I thought it looked like, well, what do you think it looks like? Big sis said, "Camoflage". Darn, that's what I thought.
So at the sit and knit I traded it for non-variegated and will whip up another shawl with the clock ticking.
I licked my wounds by winding my forest green laceweight and finishing (finally) my Mountian Colors sock in Nancy Bush's Ribs and Cable from Interweave Fall 2005. It fits my foot so well. I was a good knitter and cast on the second sock immediately. But on to Kiri.

These are a few of the souvenirs we bought. The mug is from D. He took the kids up the Wallace Monument in Stirling when we were at the Bridge of Allen games. I didn't see the point because the rain was so heavy we could hardly see it or the castle. I wasn't up for the walk either and I'd climbed it at least two times when we were here before. He brought me back a lovely mug with sheep! Inside it says, "Isle of Ewe". Sweet.
I took myself to the Sherlock Holmes museum and enjoyed it thoroughly.
No pictures.
Don't even try to open the picture file below. I don't know what I did.

Wednesday, August 22, 2007

In the Pink

I'm feeling a little better. The sun is out but it's not too hot. Just the barking dog next door.
Still, I can sit and knit Kiri and listen to my ipod. I've caught up to the ripping and already I'm on the edging. I had hoped to be here weeks ago, but for some reason I was able to persevere and get on with the lovely fuscia softness.
The blurry shot reflects how I feel. I'm in the old conundrum of dizzy from sore ears and throat or groggy from cough syrup. I'm trying to balance these and still get my paperwork done, doing errands and setting out another nice dinner. BBQ Farmer sausage and a lovely pasta salad with fresh mozzerella and tomatoes from (I blush) Martha Stewart.
I stopped buying her magazines ages ago when I couldn't get over how much advertising there was. But I was feeling poorly and wanted an easy glance of pretty pictures and new ideas. I do like the recipe on p94 and the family even ate it. I would have preferred chicken breast or even pork chops, but c'est la.
More resting now. Finish Kiri and cast on another one stealthily while my friend goes on holiday. How much can I get done before she returns? Don't worry about me faking missing her.

Saturday, August 18, 2007

Too Thick to Knit

I landed with a cold that is now full-blown tonsillitis. Yuck. Yesterday I was too scared to knit lace after frogging Kiri back so far.

Today, with antibiotics and more sleep, I can stay up enough to get a few things done. Those include listening to my back podcasts and catching up on my lace. If my hands start to hurt, I'll pick up the lovely novel I bought at the Oxfam store on Byres Rd, Laurie R. King's "Grave Talent"
I've read all her Bee Keeper's Apprentice books and loved them. I'm a big Sherlock Holmes fan, since I graduated from Winnie the Pooh, and I visited 221B Baker St. this time in London. Just a little city house, but full of memorabilia and fans. I thoroughly enjoyed it.
That made up for the cold and polite reception I got at Loop. I wish I had been able to travel all the way to Vauxhall for iknit, but I barely had time to walk all the way up the high street from angel station. They had mainly Rowan. Liberty's had Rowan. John Lewis has Rowan. Like the Borg. I stood around the tiny hallway of a shop before she looked up from her desk. "Do you have Briar Rose?"
I caused her confusion. She did not know it. She does not listen to Cast On, She is not my friend.
I had the opposite in Glasgow. I'll share that later.
The night before, I fell down these steps.
Want to know how to relieve the pain of plantar fasciaitis? Sprain your ankle. Such colours! We adapted pretty well to the lovely home so generously given over to us by a cousin who was away on Vancouver Island. But we couldn't get all the lightswitches to work and I missed a step in the dark. Screaming like a girl!! The kids ran to get me ice and ibuprofen. I just stayed on the bottom with my foot elevated up the stairs for about an hour. Sad, old mummy.
The back garden was a delight. Especially since we weren't gadding about too much.

And now I can sit on my chaise in the cloudy but warm light of my own back garden and Luckakuck River.

I am reluctant to re-enter the race of family and volunteering. I have lots of projects that are self-imposed: music theory (going well), sewing knitting bags (not going at all), flute and piano (I barely know where I left them), Blue Grass (I'll pick it up on Monday) writing (no, but thanks for this outlet), house work( I made pancakes for breakfast and I bathed the dog ).

I can read my novel. In Scotland I read North and South by Elizabeth Gaskell. It is a great old novel that was a gift of my best friend in aniticipation of a movie night. BBC has just done a great version. I look forward to that.

I may have jammed out of a wedding. The youngest daughter of one of D's dairy clients is getting married and wanted a piper like her sister. I don't know them, but they were tiny little girls when he started doing their herd work. I bought her a beautiful picture frame that is both traditional and modern. Did I say I don't know her? I need to rest. Sleep even.

I also need to get something done.

Focus on using up that KSH and catching up on Brenda Dayne.

Thursday, August 16, 2007

Jet Lagging

We're back!

What a great 2 weeks in Glasgow and London. That's me knitting (the same) sock on the train from Edinburgh on Monday. I took the kids while D. went to Isaly. He had plans of checking out his family's former farm, but really it was Scotch tasting.

You've never been to Scotland if you haven't been with your own pipe band.
They worked really hard and the scuttlebut on the field is they should have placed higher than eighth. Still that's pretty good in grade 3A out of 37 bands.
Last Saturday, on Glasgow Green, the rain came in torrents. We may get to see a recast on BBC on Sunday. Chilliwack & District marched in the massed bands. They really played the best I've ever heard them!
On Monday, I took the kids to Edinburgh and Boo climbed Arthur's Seat while Noodle Pie and I went to Hollyrood Palace. This is his picture.

We were a bit rushed to get back on the train before rush hour. That's the Sir Walter Scott Memorial on Princes St. One of my favourite things in the world, but this is as close as I got.
So pleased to bump into another band mom from my past on the Royal Mile. We had a great visit. Except she has a flat on Rose St. for a month, so her visit is better. Best of luck to her amazingly talented daughter in the Fraser 78ths.

I'm a bit groggy from flying backwards through time yesterday. I picked up the big black dog and bathed her right away. Our house was clean when we left, but is scattered with suitcases and laundry now.

I didn't risk taking my knitting through British security. They're famously strict. So no knitting yesterday.

I had to frog back Kiri to an inch of her existence because, somehow, the center line faded out of consciousness. Fooey!

So I knit her back almost but did not get the third one started. I have till September, but I want to have 2 done for October. The sock was my way of sulking. I'm almost done the toe. I'll take it in and show my LYS the chimney grafting from Lucy Neatby.

I did visit a very disappointing shop in London. A very long trek on my injured and newly sprained foot. Rowan is like the Borg. They totally take over a shop. Well, I'm sorry, I can get Rowan at home. Don't you have anything else? Oh and by the way, I'm from Canada and I'm a knitter. Why won't you talk to me?

The K1 store in Glasgow made up for that in spades. More to come. Home safe. Hope you are all safe and knitting forwards instead of backwards like me.