Thursday, June 30, 2016

Marking Time

 It's that time of year again when you feel like eating watermelon in a bathing suit. (Were you ever warned that that could lead to pregnancy?)
It's that time of year again when the delicate blossoms shine like prom girls, even in the heat.

It's the time of year when I would rather read a book on the deck than watch TV in the basement.

 But when it's really hot, I hide down there and finally get to some sewing projects, like this purse insert for my camera.
And fixing the zipper fiasco on my Christmas project bag. This will be ready for next month when I start my Xmas knitting of whimsical hats and mitts for the great nephews and nieces.

Now that I have finished two blankets, I have the freedom of mind to work on the little squares of sock yarn in my ongoing cozy memories blanket.

 The dog likes to hide in the cool basement, too. But the stairs are a real problem for her old joints. We have lately found her relaxing near the fan in the kitchen/ dining area. So now we leave it on low for her.

Going outside can take planning. Make sure you get home before it gets too hot. This week I saw 11 bald eagles hunting on a newly mown hay field, just across the road from where I grew up.
It's the time if year when reaching the shade of the woods is a great relief. We actually have whole trails under the forest canopy. Perhaps I will be brave enough to try those this month.

 Yesterday I was at the hairdressers and it was prom day!!! All the beautiful girls with their long hair getting mermaid updos. Pretty tempting. But I didn't book enough time.
It's the time of year when Carly's hair comes out in clumps. I just bit the bullet and brushed her. Plus she's afraid of the vacuum.
Most importantly, it's the time of year that we measure by the height of the corn. It had a nice wet start, but then got a bit scorched as seedlings. Thank goodness for the heavy rain to get it to this stage when it can withstand anything and thrive.
The rule is, that it should be at my shoulder by my birthday at the end of July.
We are heading to Ireland for 2 weeks. It is weird to miss the parades and BBQs of Canada Day tomorrow. We love Canada Day.
Plus I'm missing my sister's 60th birthday. But we had lunch today and she is off on a trip before I get back. The time will have flown. As will have I.

Saturday, June 25, 2016

With Wool, Let the Rain Come.

 When you change your environment, you change your actions and reactions. Moving my desk into a little room was so exciting (and a lot of work), but it means taking the intention to go into that room to write or study. This is a habit I need to cultivate. Listening to the Happier Podcast with Gretchen Rubin, I am encouraged to work toward habits I desire.
Like yoga. The bag is packed and at the front door. I am not going to be the one thing standing in my way.
We celebrated D's birthday with 2 parties and Fathers' Day. We were blessed with sun for the last part of this Sunday. The poolside gathering was very festive. The Giant Jenga got to play and it was great fun.
 D was on call for his birthday and the weekend, so we had quiet celebration at home. But home made says party to me. It was fun to include his vet student and share a meal.
I finished the giant grey Waffles blanket. At the end it threatened to  swallow me up. But the weather is switching between warm and chilly. There was no contradiction to having its wooly weight on my legs while we watched TV in the evening. Almost done the 6th season of Big Bang Theory and enjoying laughing out loud. This blanket is destined to live in Winnipeg, so I hope it brings and easy comfort to that new start.

Love my button box. I'll just look to see if there's anything that might work. This is a baby sweater in the amazing Sweet Georgia yarns. You see that little blue dot on the button? It matches perfectly. I can hardly wait to see the sweet young bundle of joy at her first birthday.

We are excited about our trip to Ireland. I have had my clothes laid out on the guest bed for weeks. A capsule wardrobe of navy and white with a fair amount of wool and cashmere. Dublin is a swanky city and I don't like feeling like a compost heap. So I have some tidier items. There will be a gala dinner and a private party at the Guinness Storehouse. But the sun may shine, much like our own home, so sandals may make a showing.
Of course the travel knitting is paramount. I started both toes on D's Christmas socks. The left over Sweet Georgia Tough Sock is good for heels and toes. These are big men's socks, so I don't want to run out of the Socks That Rock in Bella Coola. Thank goodness I am taking the intended feet along, so I can try them on. I still plan to wrap them as a gift. He doesn't care.

Had a lovely bicycle around the western blocks near us and was charmed by these hops. Each pole has a moniker. When I was little, there were hundreds of acres of hops in our valley. They are just coming back thanks to the craft brewers.

Another big finish. This blue chunky cotton yarn is from the deep stash. I knit a baby sweater for one of Emily's skating coaches. Couldn't tell you if that was 10 or 15 years ago. The cables were a delight. And chunky knit up quite quickly.
Now I only have the grey crochet shawl on the needles. Plus the travel socks and I started a travel shawl. Plus the shawl that is waiting for another skein to be dyed. Plus the cozy memories sock blanket. But I think that's all.

This sweet girl loves to explore the front garden. We used to walk 4 miles every day. Now she barely makes it to the road. But she loves to go out. She won't go without me, though, (even if the door is wide open) so I stand around and pick a few weeds while she sniffs and follows the paths of the bunnies.

With my computer and books in my little room, I have a little haven to explore my words and ideas.
But it is new, and I don't always walk the few steps to leave the sunroom that was my "office" for so many years. I am trying to use my desk as a centre and anchor.
There was a ball of the blue cotton left over and I just couldn't put it back into the stash. I have other creative tasks on my list, but the yarn kept me enthralled. I used a free dishcloth pattern from Knitpicks and made 2 lovely circles while watching the Bakery Bears Podcast explore the castles of Elizabeth and Mary. Delightful. I also was compelled to try the citric acid soak to make the yarn colorfast as explained by Jasmin of the Knitmore Girls.
Last weekend was World Wide Knit In Public Day, but it was a cold, dreary rainy dreich. I wasn't feeling up to taking one of the big blankets to a chilly circle of lawn chairs. So I watched some new podcasts and am so charmed by the heavy Canadian content of the Grocery Girls , Wet Coast Wools, and Soxcetera. Knit with us. Join us in a knit along. Thank you, I think I shall. 
In yoga I got very excited by starting a head stand practice and I was way better than I expected. It felt very playful. But it was bad on my neck and I could feel the migraine starting that my physiotherapist had managed to exorcise. So now I have let that go.
With my gore tex runners and rain coat, I am not afraid to go out into the showers and explore the fields and trails. I actually prefer it to the heavy heat we had last year. This is the valley that I remember and feel at home in.

Friday, June 17, 2016


This is the 10th anniversary of my blog. Unfortunately I have not been posting every Friday as had become my rhythm. I hope to maintain that in the future. I can even try when we are away.

We have been piping in parades every weekend. My DH is pipemajor (on the left) and does a great job. Our music is really sounding good and we are a fun group. I love my bass drum, but I am grateful that I don't have to carry it until September. My back is not getting better and it is keeping me from yoga. So this week I already had 2 yoga classes, swam laps and cycled. It is good to keep moving.

I love my bass drum, but I am grateful that I don't have to carry it until September. My back is not getting better and it is keeping me from yoga. So this week I already had 2 yoga classes, swam laps and cycled. It is good to keep moving.

We piped for Cultus Lake Days and the romance of this space gets me every time. Because of chill and high winds, it was quite empty- my favourite!! I was 3 when we moved here from Ontario and I will always feel it is partly my home.

On the grey days, I was able to knock out a few more skeins on the giant waffle. I'm just adding the 9th and last skein for a total of 1800 yds. But I keep hoping that the big guy will appreciate it when he is in the Winnipeg winter.

On sunny days I celebrate the roses.

These Queen Victoria roses grow 8 feet high and love our weather. We had a similar rose bush at the farm where I grew up and these are about the same age as me if they were planted in the early 60s when the house was built.

On the wellness front, I am resurrecting some recipes. Big Batch Bran muffins!

And diving into all the early fruits. Last year was the first year we had raspberries in June (D's birthday). This year we are already adding blueberries to the rhapsody.
I made a half recipe of The Pioneer Woman Cooks' Margaritas for a crowd. We had the best margaritas in Las Vegas! Now at 2 o'clock, I look around for our cool waitress.
And I have pizza dough on the go. Things I have wanted to do for a long time.
Enjoy the days you have. Celebrate. Have another cocktail.

Sunday, June 12, 2016

Bouncing Around and Straight Lines

On the hottest days I hide in my deepest shade.

When its chilly, I play with pompoms and glue.

Still bringing books up to my office. These shelves are knitting. It feels so good to touch them and flip through them, giving them a place in my mind. Yesterday Emily asked me to find a pattern in a magazine. There's a rabbit hole. I have years worth of Interweave Knits and Vogue Knitting. When I think of all the energy and creativity that went into making each of those patterns, and then the layout and publication, I am astounded. I have almost stopped buying knitting magazines because I buy my patterns from the designers on Ravelry. But it is not always about the new. I often turn to classics, standards and favourites. This is about the 7th waffles blanket I'm knitting. But I don't have a picture because I only just picked it up again.
Instead I was working on this test knit for the delightful Prairiegirl Susie. She calls it Good Grief. It is beautifully written and a great gift (in superwash) for a great nephew who is just turning 6.

The pipe band has been marching in parades every weekend in our local communities. We have such a fun group and are sounding pretty good. Today is our last one for a while and my back could really use the break to strengthen and get back to yoga.

Dreaming of the colours that Emily will enchant with these undyed yarns.

In preparation for our trip to Ireland starting July 1st (Canada Day) I am rereading some Iris literature. There is a Writers' Museum in Dublin I am so excited about.
Plus I will need some knitting for the plane ride. This is the wonderful Kinfolk Yarn and Fibre (from Vancouver) 50/50 silk and merino. The colourway is Tea at the Empress Hotel. The colours look like pansies to me. 
I set up my swift and ball winder on the table in the basement where my sewing mess lives. It looks worse in a photo, or if you don't live here. Really it is a mess.
But I am just in love with it and going to knit Afternoon Tea by Helen Stuart of Curious Handmade. There is a free pattern on, but she later released a more extensive pattern with a larger size (I have two of these for over 700 m) and her wonderful percentage pattern, so I can know if I have enough yarn when I reach the 50% mark. Definitely worth it. I love her podcast, not just for the knitting content, but for the slice of London life.
Not London. Here we are keeping a close look on the corn. It got very hot last week and we were worried the small plants would scorch, but lately it has been heavy rain. Perfect for healthy fields. We don't have any fields of our own anymore, but corn is magical.

The weather hasn't been right for me to wear my finished featherweight. But it does fit.
 Today is the church picnic and threatening to rain, but I have put a lot of time into practicing guitar and preparing my lesson on creation (including blow torch, sparklers, bubble and a TRex)
And I finished the Exonumist Pi Shawl by Wendy Knits in Jamieson's Spindrift, shetland fingering weight. It is very wooly, but soft after its bath. you can see this wearable blanket is almost 2 metres across. I had to buy an extra skein of the Blue Lovat in the middle section but I have 2 and a bit left of the Pacific dark edging. It will be perfect for travelling to Ireland. 

And just to be brave, I joined a project bag swap with a new to me podcaster from Vancouver, soxcetera. Shannonmariah is lovely and encouraging. I am making this drawstring bag for a partner in Indiana. She will sew a bag for me! I have had to mess with the "pattern" a little, but it is surprising to me how much I understand about procedure and sewing skills. I can sew a straight line, too.