Monday, August 27, 2012

Summer Travel

 We are only about 3 hours from the Okanagan Valley where there are warm lakes, cool breezes and beautiful wineries like Burrowing Owl and Tinhorn Creek.
 Osoyoos Lake has sandy shores and lots of walkways.

 We stayed at the Observatory B&B.  We met Jack and Alice in Arizona where they have a sky village after I gave D this weekend for a Christmas gift.
We spent two evenings searching for stars and planets and photographing them. It was fun to see him speaking his language with others who understood.

The fruit markets were amazing. The warm, freshly picked nectarines,
and peaches. Yum.
I don't know what these taste like, but they are pretty.
Our climate is too cool and wet for peaches, so it is an annual celebration to eat Okanagan peaches.
And the merlot grapes were our favourite, on the vine and in the glass.
Squeezing out the last of the summer weekends. There was lots of knitting in the car. Most of the baby girl sweater, finished the Piper's Journey shawl and started the Honeycomb Mitts.
This week we move our kids to their university residences and we will start a new life as (partially) empty nesters.

Thursday, August 23, 2012

Finding Inspiriation

 I visited a friend in Bellingham on Sunday and we walked to Fairhaven. I was taken by this statue which was anonymously set up one night (like art bombing). The Standing Bow Pulling Pose is one of the poses we do in Bikram yoga.
 I think it may also be called the warrior pose. It filled me with encouragement.

 Bellingham feels a bit like Vancouver Island (without the ferry). There were families and dog walkers all over the water front parks.
 We only had time for lunch and one new wool shop. We ate at Calaphon again, yummy. The yarn shop was charming, but I didn't find anything that needed to come home with me. The last month has been quite a yarn buying spree. The store was mainly devoted to Cascade, which makes sense because it comes from Washington. But we have great access to it, even in Chilliwack.
I did take advantage of my stash. This is the Hill Country hat by Clara Parkes made of one skein of Sweet Georgia's superwash merino chunky in the "rust" colourway. What a delightful mix of yarn and pattern. I wanted to knit it top down to use up all the yarn. I had about 1 meter left. It will go in D's stocking. Maybe it will be seen in the news this year.
My piper's journey is coming along swimmingly, and the Berroco Vintage DK is soft and drapey. I hope to get the fingerless mitts to match done next.
But I picked up the baby girl sweater, from the Ones Skein Sock Yarn book, I sent to the back of the queue and can't abide it in limbo. One sleeve was finished yesterday. It is top down so going quickly. I'm also finishing up my 5th scarf for our donation bag, keeping the wee mittens close by and thinking of getting back to a gift I failed to finish in time for my friend's birthday last year.
Lots of shifts at hospice. They went from crazy scary, to time to sit with patients and find out how to make them more comfortable. I liked the latter last night.
Today we travel to the ranch and then to Osoyoos for a Christmas present. I gave D 2 nights in an Observatory Bed & Breakfast and now it's time. There will be driving (knitting), visiting with my sister and her family (more knitting), maybe a trip to my sister and nieces' wool shop, electrictee yarns, ( more knitting). I must remember to read and write and just walk around the beautiful beach.
We travel so many places, but have not gone to our own Okanagan Valley for years. It'll be a treat. Hope your weekend is just as inspiring.

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Hot Enough For You?

Some of the plants on the deck are parched and I am getting tired of being so uncomfortably warm. D has the air conditioner on in the bedroom at night, and we hide in the basement after dinner, watching Heroes. But the mornings are only just becoming cool enough to sit on the deck with coffee and a book.
The Ravellenic Black Flaming Flowers Shawl was done in time to win a medal! Sunday morning before church, I cast it off.
This morning I blocked it within an inch of its life. 24 x 64 inches. Only needed my own 6 tig wires, but Jean very kindly loaned me hers (that I bought her).
It brings me joy.
Today I'm putzing about the house, tidying and wiping. What a chaos we have lived in. But both kids will move out this month and I will be able to do a big clean- and enjoy it for a while. I'll miss them, yes. But it is hot and I am trying to stay within the path of the fan for my house cleaning.
This is a great time of year. The time in which my long suffering novel is set. Maybe I'm cleaning house to avoid the writing.
Also cast on some Sunday Swing socks to do a KAL with the Chicago Examiner. Actually I just really miss knitting socks. The Piper's Journey is soft and lovely and good knit night knitting. I still have a few inches on my 5th scarf for charity, my mittens are slowly growing in number and.... too many things on the needles!
At this moment I don't want to hold wool. I'm going to finish cleaning and wiping because then I can have my hands in water.

Monday, August 13, 2012

Fun At the Fair

 This is the second year we have had a booth at the Fair. But this year, instead of just me and Caroljanie, we had a roster of 7 people! There were two people at our table for every shift. They were friendly and pleasant and handed out flyers for our scarf initiative, free scarf patterns and even needles and yarn. I had help putting up my yarn bombing from my birthday and a display of some of the scarves we have so far.
 There are about 20 there. We received or finished 5 this weekend. I taught an eight year old how to knit, plus one of the directors, a wonderful young man who is 6 foot 4 and makes a stunning sight with his maroon yarn and needles. If you can knit a scarf, you can make a difference on Christmas Eve when our Salvation Army serves turkey dinner for their soup kitchen. We hope that each guest can receive a hand made scarf.
 I won third prize in the baby layette class with my grandmother's pattern. I called this class Fair Share. The layettes go to the Chilliwack General Hospital Auxiliary. There were eleven entries! We had two gift baskets for a draw for each entry. The Hospital Auxiliary gave beauty goodies and I did a knitting basket.
Even the clown was game to try a few stitches on my scarf. I finished one and knit more than half on another. I thought I could finish the edging on my black shawl, but it was just too chaotic. Thank goodness I got to yoga on Friday night or I wouldn't have been able to sleep for all the distraction.
I did finish my shawl before the closing ceremonies and I can't believe it. I was never going to be able to knit that pattern! The chart tamer was a help, definitely. But sitting without distraction, and taking it on the ferry really gave me time to figure out its rhythm.
Last night D took me out to dinner and then I started the Piper's Journey shawl from Paula of the Knitting Pipeline. It is soft and garter stitch and a perfect palate cleanser. Watching Slings and Arrows again is so much fun!
Since I'm not a monogamous knitter anymore, I put the little girl sweater back on the needles (finished the little boy sweater) and started planning to finish the nephew sweater.
I bought a lot of yarn this month, but I also completed a lot of knitting.
So exciting to see who will come to our knit night tomorrow because we met so many new people at the fair!

Thursday, August 02, 2012

A Capital Time

 Victoria is the capital city of our province, British Columbia, and a great tourist site. We came over for a few days with a veterinarian conference and stayed at the Empress Hotel, a great treat. From the front steps you can see our Parliament buildings and the British influence. I spent my summers here as a child and love to roam about.
 The inner harbour at night time (from our hotel window) is enchanting. My little camera was "fixed" and now it takes dreadful shots and won't even close. These are all from my phone.
 My favourite pub (in Canada) is the Irish Times. Food for the body, Drink for the spirit and Music for the soul. Great fish and chips and local beers.
 Here is the Inner Harbour during the day. We took one of those boats to the Oak Bay Marina for dinner.
 The largest arbutus tree in the city is right outside the hotel. It was designed by the same architect who built the Parliament buildings.
 The requisite ferry shot. Lots of Olympic knitting on the ferry and in the car. The pattern tamer makes so much difference on this intricate black shawl. Go Team Owlie 2012.
  I'm so pleased that the rows are now making sense and it's not too hard for me. I have done two and a half repeats since Friday when the games began.
 There was shopping. I love Munro's Books and bought Knit Red, along with a signed copy of Vincent Lam's The Headmaster's Wager. I also love the Boutique de Laine in Cadboro Bay. They have a vast basement of yarns and always have enough of what I'd like. Across the street is Crumsby's, the best cupcakes and coffee. I am so charmed by their child friendly atmosphere.
 I found yarn for the Spiral Rib Cowl in red and multi in Merisoft by Punta Yarns. The Ysolda book is from the Button & Needlework Boutique on Trounce Alley. They have much more yarn and knitting than I remember. I would have bought a needlepoint kit, but I have to finish the one I'm not working on.
Also went to the amazing Russell Books as recommended by Jean. It's a wonderful shop, but we have our own great Bookman.
 In Duncan, near D's Aunt's, we stopped at The Loom. A crazy, bursting yarn store recommended by my niece. Lots of lovely stuff. I bought a beautiful blue sock yarn- can't have too many blue socks. She was very sweet to give me the August sale price because of the recommendation.
It was great visiting with our London cousins and their growing children. Dinner, as always, was great, and they appreciated the fresh Chilliwack corn.
But I was saving myself for Beehive.  The selection was terrific, but they were a bit intrusive and contrary. I found the yarn for Piper's Journey and some matching fingerless mitts. The dark mitts will also coordinate with my Colour Affection that I'll start when there's a nip in the air.

Last year I decided to do the 365 photo project, and I think I almost managed to take a photo each day. The website was cumbersome, though, so I may just make another blogspot one.
This year I hope to get to my writing. It is time. I need to join the writing circle and really get over my fears.
So Christmas in July again. I love having a summer birthday.