Wednesday, September 29, 2010


Lesley asked which pattern I'm using for the baby blanket. Sorry I didn't put it in, but I wonder sometimes if I'm not boring you, dear reader, with repetition of patterns and yarn information and my slow production of finished objects. The 10 stitch blanket was found on Ravelry. I didn't want to use Noro- like an old best friend who captivated you with her bright fresh ideas and then spiralled into a two-dimensional diva, I am off Noro. Vegetable matter, knots, you know. The Mini Mochi is my new Noro. It is a slightly spun yarn that probably doesn't make good socks (according to Lala) but I love the softness and long colour repeats.
We loved Portland! These pics are from the farmers' market, held in the university grounds. We were able to walk all over the city, from wool shop to brew pub to enormous book store. All good.

Our hotel was pretty central and we apprectiated some of the local architcture.

This lion bas relif really captured me. I am a Leo and have always been drawn to the lions as gate keepers in museums and libraries.

The cold and rain have decided to recede for the rest of the week. I'm happy to have the summer-like conditions. I missed walking the dog. But she has a pretty painful shoulder. It has been gradually getting worse and now is not influenced by rest or activity. D is a dairy vet and says she will probably have to have xrays. We have her on anti-inflammatory meds (like me) but they are only a bit helpful. We'll have to get the vet's impressions.

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Fasten Your Seatbelts

D and I went on a driving holiday to the Oregon Coast and Northern California. We had a few days in Portland first, which we loved, but I'll try to make an update later.
This is the coast as we first saw it. Very ocean and surf. We live in a river valley, so it's pretty exciting.
A real lighthouse at Heceta. (I think).

Very tall trees. These are the redwoods of the National Park just south of the Oregon border.

This is the surf of Brookings Oregon. Friendly people and lots of public space to walk.

We stayed in a hotel right on the beach. It's just out of the frame to the left.

A real California sunset from our restaurant.

We drove to Shelter Cove on a crazy windy road. There were few people on the shore, but lots of birds and seals.
I couldn't count all the seals and we didn't even see them all till the photos.

The lighthouse if from Mendocino, and very well restored in its move.

More Redwoods from Humbolt State Park. Great driving and walking among the giants.

After shopping at the outlet mall in Woodburn, we checked out Mt. St. Helens. I remember the day it blew, 30 years ago (!!). We thought the heifers had taken down the barn.

I finished my fingerless gloves on the second day. Great pattern. Now I want to try to adapt other sock patterns for gifts.

The Woodland shawl got lots of hours of driving knitting. It did get a bit tedious when I couldn't look at my hands and had to do a lot of counting. A few of the stretches were too windy even for that. I managed to get well into the third and last ball of Cascade Heritage sock yarn.
I'm not sure if I like the muted colours. It looked a lot better when I was knitting in my jeans than it did this summer in shorts and bright tshirts.
Then we were headed home, I switched to the baby blanket and started panicking. I'm still worried I won't make it by this Saturday. How did time travel so quickly? I just made beef stew, mushroom stew and vegetable soup to share with the new mom. Whew! The clean up took forever.
I used the Nordictrak this morning while watching the knitgirllls and got a great work out. But more stolen knitting time. Now is the time to settle infront of the DVDs and stay up late. Fasten your seatbelts.

Friday, September 24, 2010

Sunny, Sun, Sun

We are driving back from Northern California. There has been lots of driving and I even did some lastnight, but only after it was too dark to knit.
We enjoyed the livability and friendliness of Portland for a few days, drove to the Oregon Coast for some crazy weather, took the 101 south to Eureka, where we scoped out the tallest redwoods and then back here to Oregon.
It's fun to just make it up as we go along. The warm weather is happy. We are shopping a little and keeping our meals light and healthful, so we still feel good.
Sunday we will be home and I'll post some pictures of the surf, the trees and lots of boring driving knitting.

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Packed and Ready.

We're heading out to Oregon and Northern California tomorrow in a facimile of our honeymoon. We didn't get to play in Portland, though. I hope to meet up with Sivia Harding before she heads off to teach. And there are wool shops and breweries to explore.
The weather, unfortunately has turned. I know that Environment Canada is no more accurate than reading pig spleens for forcasting, but we have packed lots of rain gear and warm socks.
The fingerless mitts above (Nutkin), have become necessary because a certain little girl walked off with my Cashmerino Fetchings when our fundraising hike for the camp turned into a torrential downpour. I will get them back. But I will probably have to make a replacement pair in purple for a six year old.
I love this cable pattern so very much. I have even wound off half a ball of very dark Trekking XXL to make the socks. First I went over the workshop in the new Knitscene, because I have trouble making socks that fit. There all many reasons, all of which have to do with accuracy and gauge. Le sigh.

These are the knitting bags I have lined up for the trip. Eventhough we are taking the car, I have no hope that D will allow this kind of excess. I will work on the mitts tomorrow. Then the Woodland Shawl who is always the last bridesmaid. Finally, baby deadline will have me working on the 10 stitch blanket all the way home.
I will try to post and share some of the photos, but we'll see if D is inclined to assisting with the whole laptop thingy.
Have a great week if I drop off the blogosphere. Think of me knitting on the road and in the pub.
Next up: attempting to revive our local knitting circle, getting in touch with my nursing classmates and sewing Wise Men costumes for our Christmas Pageant.
I already need a break.

Sunday, September 12, 2010

Sweetie Pi

She is done. The Shetland Pi Shawl Knit A Long from Wendy Knits was finished Thursday. I had time to soak her and block her out before my first choir practice of the year- barely. This was a huge blocking project. I "blocked the crap out of her" and stretched it to 32 inches radius. That's 5 feet, 4 inches in total width (diameter). But so soft and drapey. she is small enough to wear as a scarf. I wish I had done her in a more autumn color so I could wear her everyday. But the turquoise- more true in the photo above- is pretty good with my chocolate brown.
This is Saturday's sunshine. Today the bird bath is overflowing and the there are ducks in the puddles in our driveway. It's disappointing weather for a fundraising Walk-a-thon. I wonder if anyone will come up to the camp?

Gratuitous shots.

Feel the love.
It will have to overcome another disappointment: the Diamond Fantasy Shawl. Yesterday I sat on the deck with only Bach to distract me and still I stumbled over the rows. This is a prickly black alpaca and it doesn't like the needles I picked either. Oops, I dropped the crochet hook when I was ripping out a beaded row (!!!). Oops, I tipped over the little tin of beads...onto the slatted deck. Somewhere there is a sparkly slug under our deck, trying to hide from the ducks. There were expletives. What was I to do?
A quick phone call to my dearest friend got my feathers in the right direction.
Then I cast on the Nutkin fingerless gloves in the Frog Creek Fibers Sonsie merino in Computer Blue. This was a prize from The Knitting Triathlete's Make a Wish fundraiser. Good karma.
Brilliant pattern! The 'cable' is from Knitzi's Nutkin sock. At first I thought that was all to confusing. But it just about knits itself.
Maybe I'm not a degenerate knitter!
I got one whole hand done after supper while D and I watched the last of the last season of Lost.
I was not disappointed with this. And especially pleased that my friends didn't spoil it for me.
I will wrap myself in my sweet new shawl today and get all smug by picking up UFO's and finishing them.

Wednesday, September 08, 2010


The corn is high. The blackberries are laden. This is a sweet smelling season. We often get a beautiful, hot September. But this summer was hot and dry anyway. The chill in the air is most welcome. Even if I am not going to give up the soundtrack of my summer, Sarah Harmer's Little Fire.
This corn is the field beside my highschool where D and I met on a debating team (more than nerdy) and our daughter is in grade 12. Whew! It's September! I forgot about Stash and Burn's Single Skein September, but am sort of in it anyway. I'm on the last skein of the Pi Shawl (also the last skein of the Woodland Shawl if I were knitting on it). The Diamond Fantasy Shawl is made of only one long skein. But I really want to pump out a few quick projects like blue fingerless gloves for me, and maybe the Gretel hat in the Malabrigo I bought at Three Bags Full.
Jean and I stumbled upon a new wool shop in Vancouver on West Broadway while moving her son into UBC: Gina Brown. Didn't I buy some white laceweight silk at Gina Brown in Calgary? Why yes I did. This is her granddaughter. How sweet. And a nice shop. But we just couldn't bring ourselves to buy more stuff for the bloated stash.
I, too, am bloated. Thanks to Lezley from KnitGirllls for encoraging us knitters to get off our behinys. The fog was rising as I rode my bike to day. I did my old weight program, but in the wisdom of starting slowly, I only used soup cans (1 lb) and did only one set of reps. It may feel wimpy, but the chances of me repeating it are inversely proportional to the pain of lactic acid building in my sorry muscles. I did beat one of the boy counsellors in an arm wrestle this summer to his ever-living shame. But I am a farm girl and combat trained to boot.
I am also on Weight Watchers ( I am qualified to be my own leader), so my treat will be listening to new knit podcasts and screaming away on the edging of my shawl. Rational? I can rationalize it.

Monday, September 06, 2010

Travelling Companions

The Shetland Pi Shawl KAL from Wendy Knits came to Victoria with us yesterday. This was the best knititng for travel! Just interesting enough, steady on the needles. The weather was clear with a hint of cool, the reservations made sure we made our ferries and the van was big enough to bring all of Scott's belongings and the food we stocked up for him.
I spent many summers, as a child with my Aunt Anna in Victoria, a very pleasant time. D stayed with his grandparents in Nanaimo. It is a sort of home coming. Unfortunately this time, I hadn't contacted our dear Island friends. There comes a time when you feel it is too late. But these are special people. We ran into one couple in the grocery store, who swept us up in a charming garden tea. The other family tracked us down and offered us supper. So kind.
We just ran out of energy after hauling stuff up 3 floors. And we ran out of time. Always the ferry. I will make an extra effort to meet with them at Thanksgiving. That means I get to come back.
In the garden, the parents of D's oldest best friend shared a wonderful visit. She is a knitter, and I'm excited to send her a few patterns for prayer shawls for her knitting group. She has inspired me to go ahead and try to get a knitting group together to make charity items.
This is the dorm room after the makeover. Cozy, no? The wall decal is from Byrdie Graphics.
He also has a book shelf for a standing work station. The "cluster" has four rooms, a kitchen, two baths and a dining/living room for 4 boys.
Today is Labour Day, which, ironically, is a day of rest. Em will come back from the PNE today and start Grade 12 tomorrow!
I can tell we're in transition because of the weird collection of dishes in the dishwasher. What kind of people live here?
Back to Pi. I have one more repeat on the 4th clue and then I start the edging!

Friday, September 03, 2010

Seasonal Changes

This is the reason I have spent so much of the summer on the highway. My daughter is playing "Louie, Louie" on the trumpet and is the lead tip of the drumline. They were interviewed for newspaper and televison, like City TV. D went in last night to listen to them and bring them home. He really enjoyed it and I'm so glad he got to experience the excitement.
Today we are taking my friend's son into UBC. On Sunday we take Scott back to UVIC. That will be such a big change! There are several big boys in my basement this morning.This is Aunt Wendy's garden. I don't think it shows the late summer stress that other gardens are wearing. Her daughter was my flowergirl and grandma had a lovely family shower on Sunday. Misty put her sweet baby in the pink blanket right away. They also want knitting coaching. Yay. I gave them some patterns and will have to reign myself in to not overwhelm them! We're going to try to meet at 88 Stitches.

The black Diamond Fantasy Shawl is coming along. I have done two of the ten repeats. The alpaca is soft in the wound cake, and in the shawl, but kind of scratchy while knitting. I love the beads which are black but with an oil slick covering of blue and shiny. I knit yesterday while watching some TV- continuing in my summer of Fantasy: Eureka! The show is partly filmed in Chilliwack, and Lala said we would like it. I love Serenity and Firefly (thanks Miss Violet). Then I watched Nanny McPhee at my mom's because she wants to see the new one.
I was able to walk the few blocks home in the cool dark last night and appreciate the changing season. Definitely shawl weather after supper. Welcoming the change.