Monday, May 31, 2010


The annual Swiftsure sailboat race was this weekend, so the harbour's been a busy place! I was at the start line, as always, but just a few hours earlier the water was pretty busy ... here, a China Shipping Line freighter goes by, and then the MV Coho is arriving, sandwiched between two cruise ships:

And the US Coast Guard probably turns up to help...

Then the sailboats started to arrive -- 180 of them in all! And off they went...

My personal favorite boat, for years now, has been Dragonfly -- and the final results aren't in yet, but apparently when Dragonfly was the first across the finish line a reporter commented that if they'd gone any faster the skipper would've needed a pilot's license!

The winds were fierce for the first several hours and apparently almost a third of the boats dropped out of the race by the end.

I had to go to Sidney, so I wasn't able to be at the finish line, but instead ...

... I stopped here to knit for a bit (started a pair of socks for Gibson, and the wedding-present afghan, pics tomorrow)!

Yesterday morning I woke up to a noise on the dock...

I barely had time to take that picture before something spooked them and they ran off up the ramp!

Thursday, May 27, 2010


... because two nights of watching American Idol's finale (yay, Lee!!) gave me some actual knitting time. :-)

The blue sweater, at last! It fits perfectly, which is a shame -- I was hoping it would be a bit big so I could wear a shirt under it. It's a 50/50 wool and acrylic blend, and my own design (no big deal, it's just a 4-2 ribbing with raglan sleeves). I'm just glad it's done -- I have an afghan to make for a July 1st wedding, and that 50th pair of socks is STILL on the needles.

Today's task is to finalize the FibreFest poster and get it to the printer!

Wednesday, May 26, 2010


Well, we never made it out to Albert Head after all. By the time we 'cleared the decks' (literally and figuratively) to go, a wind had come up, and it was predicted to be bad again about the time we'd need to be coming home. The intention was to celebrate Gibson's 4th birthday there ... so we switched beaches, and drove instead. :-)

It was Mischa's new friend Joe's first family event...

(This was the only time the dude sat still the whole day -- he was playing with the boys almost the entire time there!)
Michael and I managed to take in the 'Opening Day' parade(we weren't supposed to BE here, so we hadn't registered to be in it) ...

... and then hosted a family picnic back at the marina for Gibson's birthday party...

Boys will be boys...

I'll take Hailey back to the ferry this morning, and that was pretty much my last nice break before FibreFest -- down to the wire now, pretty much!

Sunday, May 23, 2010


It's the Victoria Day long weekend, so I'm out here at Albert Head if you need me...

But I've had the most amazing couple of days!

Wendy innocently sent around a copy of a craigslist ad (which Isobel had forwarded to her, enablers both of them) the other day that went like this...

- Bankers desk solid wood , 5ft x 3ft $65 OBO
- antique pine spinning wheel (walking wheel) $225 OBO
- solid maple armchair $35 OBO
- wood trestle table 66in.x 30in. $20 OBO

To make a long story short, I'm now the proud owner of the second item on that list...

After long conversations with Wendy on the phone about what to look for, I called another friend, Raven, who owns a walking wheel and knows a lot about them, to come along with me. She pointed out a few issues that need repair, but nothing too serious. I was especially delighted to see that it had a 'miners head' attachment (the other part of it, for those of you who will notice it missing, was nicely set aside in a bag) which apparently ups the value somewhat...

And then Raven brushed aside some of that very old drive band material to reveal this...

As soon as I got home I googled Mr. Pierce and found lots of info -- this miners head attachment was manufactured in about 1870 in New Hampshire, and the wheel itself is likely even older.

Now the astute among you are asking yourselves, "Where, on a 40-foot boat, is Marilyn going to put a great wheel??" and that was my biggest dilemma until Wendy very kindly offered the storage space directly in front of her very large picture window in her living room. :-) Works for me!

Much more to show and tell when I get back to the computer on Tuesday morning!

Friday, May 21, 2010


.... and it's a long weekend, too!

Not that that matters much here, really -- we still have stuff we have to do on Saturday and then on Sunday morning. But on Sunday we're hoping to get off the dock to our favorite Albert Head anchorage for the first time this year. It's Gibson's 4th birthday, and that's where we celebrated it last year. This year we're going to try a little harder not to lose our dinghy, though!

Speaking of boats and boating, our old pal Mike came over from Galiano the other day and we went to visit the Amber IV:

This is the boat owned by the family from our marina who is hoping to sail through the Northwest Passage from west to east this summer -- right now the boat is being prepared for that trip, and they are scheduled to be back in the water and underway on June 1st. If their adventure interests you, they've established a Facebook page -- you can search for AmberIV to follow them.

Last night was the monthly Hand Weavers and Spinners Guild meeting -- I put it on my calendar every single month and every single month something happens that I can't go. But last night, for the first time in months, all the stars lined up the way I needed them to, and I was able to get out the door. It was a lovely evening -- I'm constantly amazed at how much talent there is in the fibre world!

And today is Knit'n'Cafe, and I'll be dragging along the sleeves of this blue sweater -- will I EVER be done knitting it??

Wednesday, May 19, 2010


I have a confession to make ... we watch American Idol in this house. I've never been big on TV, so this is a huge leap for me.

I can remember, over the past few years, poking fun at American Idol fans. I mean, sometimes it seemed like you couldn't go anywhere without hearing snippets of conversation about who's been eliminated, who's favored, etc. -- in the line-up at the bank, in coffee shops and in passing on the street. I thought it was pretty amusing how intense people were about it. But along the way, we got pulled in when the opera dude burst on the scene a few years ago, and then again when Susan Boyle created a sensation in Britain. And then, somehow, in January, we sort of got hooked in to the early auditions for this season... and now we are glued to the television every Tuesday and Wednesday evening, along with several million others, apparently!

My personal favorite? Well it was 'Big Mike' but Lee was a close second anyway.

I think he's going to win ... don't you??

On another note, I can always tell when it's less than 6 weeks to FibreFest -- I lose all track of time, I'm spinning my wheels constantly but at the end of the day it doesn't feel like I've accomplished much, and I'm exhausted!

Fashion show tickets will go on sale today at noon at Knotty by Nature, and I'll have some on me as well, if you're local.

We had a nice visit with Chuck on the weekend, and got out for an inflatable picnic, too! Knitting has happened on the blue sweater, but still no real progress to report - and the never-ending 50th pair of socks is still dying of loneliness in the bag.

But, hey! There's a world around me ... this creature was seen in our parking lot the other day:

Wanna see that from a different angle?

It's the size of a Volkswagon, this machine! Anyone know what it IS?

Monday, May 17, 2010

It's been three days since my last post and I still have no knitting to show you. What's wrong with that picture?

Friday was lovely -- a nice turn-out at Knit'n'Cafe, and before it ended, Julie and Monica had arrived. We went to Fisherman's Wharf for supper (and did I take a picture??) and got back to the Wind Walker just in time to watch the live feed from Australia of Jesssica Watson's homecoming! When the Aussie Prime Minister called her a hero, here's how she responded.. "I don't consider myself a hero. I'm an ordinary girl who believed in her dream. You don't have to be someone special to achieve something amazing. You've just got to have a dream, believe in it and work hard." Wow, pretty amazing words from a 16-year-old!

Yesterday morning we were awakened at 7:30 or so with a very loud helicopter right over the marina ...

... and then later, found the story here.

Our friend Chuck from Bellingham came for a visit in the afternoon, and we found ourselves in the dinghy headed for Fisherman's Wharf again (his treat this time!)...

We got burgers and went to anchor at our favorite West Bay spot just in time to watch one of the first cruise ships of the season come in:

It dwarfed the 'boat that carries boats' that I'd gotten a picture of earlier ...

On the way home we caught a glimpse of Seattle's MV Lestralaur in the harbour, but I didn't get a decent picture of it.

Back to work today -- but maybe, just maybe I'll get a little knitting time in and have something to show for it soon!

Friday, May 14, 2010



Have you noticed the distinct lack of knitting content lately?

Me too.

I still have my 50th pair of socks on the needles - yes, that would be the ones I cast on in FEBRUARY during the Olympics. To their credit, they ARE almost done -- but there they are, still on the needles.

And then there's the blue sweater. After looking at it long and hard and not being able to see past all the little errors, tension differences, etc., I ripped it all back -- I mean, it's a rib pattern, so every little thing shows, in my opinion. So now it's about half done ... again. Of course, I'm already seeing some of those same flaws again -- but no more ripping. (I swear, and yes, if I get the urge, I'll call you, Esther)!

FibreFest planning is in full swing, of course -- it's less than 6 weeks away now, and there's always a million details from here on in. So it was SO nice yesterday to drive out to Metchosin yesterday to join the Thursday spinners....

I'm still a spinning imposter, but they let me knit there. :-)

Besides, Audra brought some yarn that she spun and died from the raw fleece I gave away in March ...

... and I got to take my pick of it! Four more skeins of various shades of blue and green (surprise!) have been added to my stash.

And today is Knit'n'Cafe, so I get to play two days in a row! And this evening my sister and my friend Monica from Mayne are spending the night to attend a course tomorrow here in Victoria, so I'm looking forward to that -- life is good. :)

Tuesday, May 11, 2010


I have more great pictures of the Salmon are Sacred rally, starting with my drive out on the Pat Bay Highway on Saturday morning to watch the walkers coming from the ferry...

There were probably about 100 in the group, including Alex and the others who had already walked from up-Island (it was a 500-km walk altogether).

The walk stopped at Victoria City Hall long enough to take part in a BBQ, watch and listen to some entertainment, and rest for the final 'leg' to the Legislature...

I turned up at City Hall long enough to soak it all in, and to pick up my T-shirt and a banner we would need for the flotilla I coordinated to arrive at the Legislature by water. The 'Gorge Migration' flotilla idea was an 11th hour one, so we were few (two power boats, three single kayaks, one single outrigger and a 6-seater outrigger), but we were mighty...

When we got the boats tied up and walked up to the Legislature, I was stunned to see the turnout:

We put the banner we'd come with up on a wall...

... and hung out for the speeches, all of which were eloquent and passionate.

Someone even managed to get a HUGE sign 2/3 of the way up the bell tower!

Yesterday morning a much smaller crowd turned up at Clover Point for the Salmon Blessing ceremony. I ran into my colourful knitterly friend Anne:

The Gettin' Higher choir entertained us while we waited for Alexandra Morton to arrive...

Watched over by an eagle and a heron, we gathered at the water's edge ...

A First Nation woman from Kingcome Inlet told us the story of the blessing (that the people put the bones of consumed salmon back in the water, and then lay their hands in the water to thank the salmon for coming, wish them well on their journey back out to sea, and invite them to return again the following year) and then she said the blessing in her Native tongue...

This event was probably one of the most powerful weekends I've ever experienced, and I'm so happy I got to participate!